Tests have shown that the antibody-based drug reduces the need for hospitalization in patients with a moderate form of the disease.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co on Wednesday reported interim trial data that showed that experimental antibody treatment reduces the need for hospitalization and emergency room visits for patients with COVID-19 in moderate form.
The trials tested three different doses of LY-CoV555, an antibody-based drug designed to neutralize the virus.
Analysts expect that antibody treatment may help some patients, while the long process of creating vaccines continues.
Many companies, including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Vir Biotechnology, are also testing antibody-based drugs.
Of the 302 patients who received three different doses of LY-CoV555, only five people, or 1.7 percent, were admitted or referred to the hospital. Among those who received a placebo, 9 out of 150 people needed medical care, 6 percent.
According to Lilly, only the average dose, 2800 milligrams, achieved the primary goal of the study to reduce the viral load 11 days after treatment.
No severe side effects have been reported.
The company plans to publish the results of the interim analysis in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and discuss the appropriate next steps with global regulatory authorities.