Research & Development
Antibody Bamlanivimab, Administered with Etesevimab Reduced Risk of COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Death by 70%, Study Shows
26 January 2021 - - Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 2800 mg, a human antibody discovered by Canada-based AbCellera (NASDAQ: ABCL) and developed with US-based Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY)), and etesevimab 2800 mg (LY-CoV16) together significantly reduced COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths in more than 1,000 high-risk patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19, AbCellera said.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled BLAZE-1 Phase 2/3 study met its primary endpoint and key secondary endpoints with high statistical significance.

Bamlanivimab and etesevimab together reduced COVID-19 events by 70% versus placebo (p=0.0004); and all deaths occurred in patients taking the placebo. No deaths occurred in patients taking bamlanivimab and etesevimab together.

Interim data from Lilly's Phase 2 BLAZE-1 COVID-19 trial were reported on September 16, 2020 and were the basis for authorizations of bamlanivimab 700 mg in the United States, Canada, and Europe for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients aged 12 and older who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

Bamlanivimab was developed from an antibody that was discovered from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 patient using AbCellera's pandemic response platform, in partnership with the Vaccine Research Center at NIAID.

Within one week of receiving the sample, AbCellera screened over five m antibody-producing cells to identify and isolate approximately 500 unique antibodies that bind to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The binding antibodies were then tested by AbCellera, the VRC, and Lilly to find those most effective in neutralizing the virus. Bamlanivimab was selected as the lead candidate from this group of antibodies, and was the first therapeutic candidate specifically developed against SARS-CoV-2 to enter human clinical trials in North America.

Bamlanivimab was the first monoclonal antibody to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration and is currently being assessed in several clinical trials as both a monotherapy and in combination with other antibodies.

AbCellera's pandemic response capabilities were developed over the past two years as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pandemic Prevention Platform program.

The goal of the P3 program is to establish a robust technology platform for pandemic response capable of developing field-ready medical countermeasures within 60 days of isolation of an unknown viral pathogen.

AbCellera's ongoing efforts to respond to the pandemic have identified more than 2,300 unique anti-SARS-CoV-2 human antibodies from multiple patient samples.

These antibodies are in various stages of testing by AbCellera and its partners.

Bamlanivimab is a recombinant, neutralizing human IgG1 monoclonal antibody directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. It is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus.

Bamlanivimab emerged from the collaboration between Lilly and AbCellera to create antibody therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Lilly scientists rapidly developed the antibody in less than three months after it was discovered by AbCellera and the scientists at NIAID VRC.

It was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first US patients who recovered from COVID-19.

Lilly has successfully completed a Phase 1 study of bamlanivimab in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (NCT04411628).

A Phase 2/3 study in people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the ambulatory setting (BLAZE-1, NCT04427501) is ongoing. A Phase 3 study of bamlanivimab alone or bamlanivimab and etesevimab together in residents and staff at long-term care facilities (BLAZE-2, NCT04497987) is also ongoing.

In addition, bamlanivimab is being tested in the National Institutes of Health-led ACTIV-2 study in ambulatory COVID-19 patients.

Bamlanivimab is authorized in the US for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with a positive COVID-19 test, who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. Bamlanivimab should be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 test and within 10 days of symptom onset.

AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease.

AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.
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