Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Drugmaker Eli Lilly on Wednesday announced it has submitted an emergency authorization request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment.
In an update, the company said it submitted the request for its "LY-CoV555" therapy after receiving encouraging clinical trial results showing that, when combined with another of Lilly's antibody drugs, it reduced viral load, symptoms and COVID-related hospitalization and ER visits.
Use of LY-CoV555 alone as a "monotherapy" has also proven to be effective in trial results announced three weeks ago.
"Our teams have worked tirelessly the last seven months to discover and develop these potential antibody treatments," said Lilly Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky.
"We believe the data generated to date provide sufficient evidence that both monotherapy and combination therapy may be effective to treat COVID-19 in patients with a high risk for serious outcomes. Lilly is diligently working with regulators around the world to make these treatments available."
The FDA authorization would allow the use of LY-CoV555 as a monotherapy in higher-risk patients who have been recently diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
A request for its use in combination with Lilly's other experimental antibody, LY-CoV016, will be sought next month.
The drugs are "monoclonal antibodies," which work by attaching themselves to the spike proteins of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, preventing its entry into human cells.