Eli Lilly is commenting on experiments on an experimental treatment

Grant Boone
October 15, 2020

Less than 24 hours later, Eli Lilly also stopped a study that was testing another product called ACTIV-3, a monoclonal antibody created to stop the virus from infecting cells.

Usually, clinical trials are paused because a volunteer has suffered a side effect or become ill, but the company did not say what happened.

While the reason for the suspension wasn't revealed, the spokeswoman said the trial was paused "to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study".

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the NIH did not immediately reply to requests for comment. The treatment is being developed with Canadian biotech AbCellera.

"NIH is committed to supporting several Phase 3 vaccine trials to increase the odds that one or more will be effective in preventing COVID-19 and put us on the road to recovery from this devastating pandemic", said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. A two-dose regimen is being tested in a separate trial.

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The company announced earlier this month that it would apply for an emergency license to use antibody therapy, the drug LY-CoV555, for patients with moderate symptoms of COVID-19, based on data collected in another clinical trial. Details about the nature of the illness were not provided. The AstraZeneca study resumed a few days later in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, though it remains on hold in the United States.

The late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant's "unexplained illness" is related to the shot. Given that such tests are done on tens of thousands of people, some medical problems are a coincidence.

Trump received antibodies made by the American company "Regeneron", and he praised their effectiveness after leaving the hospital and promised to authorize their use for all patients and to distribute them free of charge. "In some cases, serious adverse events. may have something or nothing to do with the drug or vaccine being investigated", he said.

Johnson & Johnson says the pausing of dosing in trials of its COVID-19 candidate is not unusual, but one analyst believes this could have significant negative impact for viral-vector based vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson's pause isn't the first time a COVID-19 vaccine trial has been halted due to health safety concerns.

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