Study finds DARPA partner AbCellera antibody may help prevent COVID-19

Study finds DARPA partner AbCellera antibody may help prevent COVID-19

January 21, 2021

AbCellera on January 21 announced that bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555), a human antibody discovered by AbCellera and developed with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), significantly reduced the risk of contracting symptomatic COVID-19 among uninfected residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

The antibody was identified as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) innovation program, the Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3), and in conjunction with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center. Lilly’s Phase 3 BLAZE-2 COVID-19 prevention trial was conducted in partnership with NIAID and the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN).

Key details from the BLAZE-2 (Blocking Viral Attachment and Cell Entry with SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies) study are as follows:

* Participants were grouped based on their COVID-19 status at baseline: 965 COVID-19 negative participants (299 residents and 666 staff) were in the prevention group, and 132 COVID-19 positive participants (41 residents and 91 staff) were in the treatment group;

* Participants in each group were randomized to receive either 4,200 mg of bamlanivimab or placebo;

* Serious adverse events were reported at a similar frequency in both placebo and bamlanivimab groups, consistent with previous safety observations in Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials;

* Bamlanivimab reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 by up to 80% in residents versus placebo (odds ratio 0.20; p=0.00026); and

* All deaths attributed to COVID-19 occurred in residents receiving the placebo. There were no COVID-19-related deaths of participants receiving bamlanivimab.

“The data from the Phase 3 BLAZE-2 trial show that bamlanivimab provides effective protection against COVID-19 infection, with the greatest impact on the most vulnerable patients,” said Carl Hansen, PhD, CEO and President of AbCellera. “Furthermore, data obtained from the treatment group are completely consistent with what was observed in the BLAZE-1 trial. This reinforces the importance of efforts to ensure high-risk patients get access to antibody therapy early in COVID-19 infection. We believe bamlanivimab can save lives if delivered early.”

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