Experimental Antibody Drug Neutralizes COVID-19 Variants

By Reuters Staff

May 04, 2021

(Reuters) - An experimental monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 being developed by Eli Lilly and Co and AbCellera Biologics Inc can "potently" neutralize numerous coronavirus variants, including those first identified in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, California and New York, scientists have found in test tube experiments.

The antibody - known as LY-CoV1404 or LY3853113 - works by attaching itself to a highly conserved epitope on the virus's receptor binding domain, which means the drug is likely to retain its effectiveness over time, the researchers said in a report posted on bioRxiv ahead of peer review.

"New variant-resistant treatments such as LY-CoV1404 are desperately needed, given that some of the existing therapeutic antibodies are less effective or ineffective against certain variants and the impact of variants on vaccine efficacy is still poorly understood," the research team wrote.

An AbCellera spokesperson said the company plans to release information about tests of the drug in humans on Tuesday.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3gYQnAU bioRxiv, online April 30, 2021.