Assessing Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 at Keck

A study author at Keck Medicine of USC discusses an ongoing assessment of LY-CoV555 for preventing severe COVID-19, and the overall benefit of the drug class for pandemic mitigation.

Monoclonal antibodies, in some fields of medicine known to be life-changing, or paradigm shifting, in their management of inflammatory disease, are just as touted for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

But research is still playing catchup to the rapidly progressing pandemic, and great national and regional institutions are collaborating to understand what this promising drug class could mean for mitigating COVID-19 severity.

LY-CoV555, an investigational monoclonal antibody from Eli Lilly, is currently being assessed in an ongoing efficacy and safety trial for the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

The randomized, double-blind ACTIV-2 trial is assessing patients aged 18 years or older showing symptoms of COVID-19 without hospitalization for the disease, and who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection within 7 days of enrollment.

Investigators are seeking for half of all trial participants to have risk factors of severe COVID-19 development, including those 55 years or older, or who have a preexisting condition such as diabetes, asthma or hypertension.

Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the trial will include enrollment at the Keck Medicine COVID-19 medical evaluation tent.

Patients will receive a one-time infusion of either the drug or a placebo at the tent. Participants will keep a symptom diary for the first 28 days after the infusion, and their progress will be tracked for a total of 24 weeks either through in-person or virtual visits.

In an interview with Contagion, Saahir Khan, MD, PhD, co-principal investigator and infectious disease expert with Keck Medicine of USC, discussed the study’s makeup, his team’s current use of monoclonal antibodies, and what next steps may entail.