Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Eli Lilly's COVID-19 Treatment Candidate Will Be the First Tested in NIH's Phase 3 Study

By Cory Renauer – Aug 4, 2020 at 6:27PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The National Institutes of Health is starting a head-to-head trial of several antibody treatment candidates.

The search for effective coronavirus treatments is taking a big step forward with some help from the National Institutes of Health: The  NIH has launched a phase 3 clinical trial that could reveal which experimental antibody treatments for COVID-19 are the most effective.

A number of treatment candidates will be administered to hospitalized COVID-19 patients at participating institutions across the U.S. But the first that will be tested in the study is LY-CoV555 from Eli Lilly (LLY 0.14%). It's derived from an antibody originally identified in a patient who recovered from a serious case of COVID-19.

A gloved hand holding a coronavirus blood sample.

Image source: Getty Images.

In addition to a placebo, the ACTIV-3 trial will compare how LY-CoV555 stacks up against several injectable treatments from other pharmaceutical companies. The agency hasn't mentioned the next candidate on the list for the study, but we can reasonably expect Regeneron (REGN 0.71%) to field its dual antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2. 

Regeneron has already begun a phase 3 trial with REGN-COV2 in partnership with the NIH to see if it can protect people who have had close exposure to COVID-19 patients. Regeneron's candidate is also in the final stages of an adaptive trial among hospitalized patients that is designed to support its eventual FDA approval.

This isn't the first phase 3 trial of LY-CoV555 that Lilly has started in partnership with the NIH. On Monday, the company began a study, called Blaze-2 that will enroll up to 2,400 nursing home residents and employees who care for them. The NIH will also start a phase 2 trial of LY-CoV555 in which it will be administered to around 220 patients with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19; that study could be upgraded to a 2,000-patient phase 3 trial if the phase 2 portion is successful.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Eli Lilly and Company Stock Quote
Eli Lilly and Company
$365.77 (0.14%) $0.52
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Stock Quote
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
$741.48 (0.71%) $5.25

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.