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Eli Lilly-AbCellera Antibody Neutralizes All Currently Known Circulating SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 May 2021
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A second antibody developed by AbCellera Biologics Inc. (Vancouver, Canada) in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company (Indianapolis, Ind, USA) has entered clinical trials in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

Lilly has expanded its ongoing BLAZE-4 trials to evaluate the antibody LY-CoV1404 alone and together with other monoclonal antibodies. In support of the clinical study, AbCellera has released preclinical data showing that LY-CoV1404 binds to a rarely mutated region of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and neutralizes all currently known variants of concern, including those first identified in the UK (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), Brazil (P.1), California (B.1.426 and B.1.429), and New York (B.1.526).

LY-CoV1404 is developed from a fully human monoclonal antibody identified from a blood sample obtained approximately 60 days after symptom onset from a convalescent COVID-19 patient. Preclinical data show LY-CoV1404 potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and all current variants identified and reported to be of concern in this pandemic. LY-CoV1404 blocks viral binding to ACE2 by targeting a highly conserved epitope on the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain (RBD), providing a strong, well-documented mechanism for the potent neutralizing activity. Furthermore, LY-CoV1404 is substantially more potent in viral neutralization assays compared to other broadly neutralizing antibodies, which could have implications for reducing the amount of antibody necessary for clinical dosing, and potentially enabling a subcutaneous route of administration for either treatment or prophylaxis of COVID-19.

“Our analysis of LY-CoV1404 shows that it is exceptionally potent and neutralizes currently known variants of concern,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO of AbCellera. “We are encouraged by the potential of LY-CoV1404 to provide a long-term complement to vaccines in the likely event that COVID-19 becomes endemic. Our partner Lilly, who has been a leader in rapidly developing, testing, and globally supplying COVID-19 antibody treatments, has advanced LY-CoV1404 into the clinic as part of its ongoing BLAZE-4 trial.”

“The ability of SARS-CoV-2 variants to negatively alter the trajectory of the pandemic emphasizes the essential need for antibody therapies that can be developed in real time to combat the virus as it evolves,” said Bo Barnhart, Ph.D., Scientific Director at AbCellera. “LY-CoV1404’s powerful neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 allows for exploration of lower clinical doses, which may support subcutaneous administration and availability of more doses to treat patients around the world.”

Related Links:
Eli Lilly and Company
AbCellera Biologics Inc

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