US-based healthcare firm Eli Lilly and Co has said that it has begun with the world's first human trial of potential antibody treatment of coronavirus. The first set of patients have been dosed in an early-stage trial which is the world's first study of an antibody treatment against the disease. The study will assess safety and tolerability in patients hospitalised with coronavirus and results are anticipated by the end of June, the company said in a statement.
The experimental treatment, LY-CoV555, has been developed through collaboration with privately held AbCellera Biologics, which Lilly partnered with in March to test antibodies to treat and prevent coronavirus. Eli Lilly also said that it plans to move into the next phase of testing, studying the potential treatment in non-hospitalised patients, if the drug is shown to be safe.
Right now, over 100 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of development, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). From US-based Moderna Inc to China's CanSino Pharmaceuticals Inc, some of the world's biggest companies are in the race to develop the coronavirus vaccine.
"I still think that we have a good chance, if all the things fall in the right place, that we might have a vaccine that would be deployable by the end of the year, by December and November," Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force and globally renowned immunologist, recently said.
Meanwhile, there are 64,52,390 cases of coronavirus currently across the world. So far, 3,82,479 people have died from the disease.