Lilly and Amgen partner to manufacture potential coronavirus drugs

Lilly corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana

Source: Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly on Thursday partnered with Amgen to increase the supply of its experimental Covid-19 antibody treatments, a day after one of Lilly’s drugs was shown to reduce the need for hospitalization.

Through the collaboration, the companies will have the ability to scale up production should one or more of Lilly’s antibody therapies receive regulatory approval, the companies said in a statement.

Antibody treatments work by recognizing and locking onto foreign invaders to prevent infection of healthy cells. Several companies including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Vir Biotechnology are also testing antibody treatments for Covid-19.

Eli Lilly on Wednesday reported that a single infusion of its experimental antibody treatment cut hospitalizations and emergency room visits for clinical trial patients with moderate Covid-19.

“We are impressed with Lilly’s data, in particular the reduction in hospitalizations, and are enthusiastic about the potential for these neutralizing antibodies as a therapeutic for Covid-19,” David Reese, Amgen’s research and development chief, said in the statement.

Eli Lilly said on Wednesday it would discuss the interim data with global regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and that discussions could also include the possibility of an emergency use authorization.

Amgen has been studying its own psoriasis drug, Otezla, as a potential treatment for Covid-19. It also has a separate partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies to develop antibody drugs to potentially prevent or treat Covid-19.

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