ELI LILLY PAUSES TRIAL OF ANTIBODY TREATMENT FOR COVID
A government-sponsored clinical trial testing an antibody treatment made by the drug company Eli Lilly has been paused because of a “potential safety concern,” according to emails that government officials sent on Tuesday to researchers at testing sites, and confirmed by the company, Katherine J. Wu and Katie Thomas reported for New York Times.
The news comes just a day after Johnson & Johnson announced the pause of its coronavirus vaccine trial because of a sick volunteer, and a month after AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial was halted over concerns about two participants who had fallen ill after getting the company’s vaccine.
The Eli Lilly trial was designed to test the benefits of the therapy on hundreds of people hospitalized with COVID-19, compared with a placebo. All of the study participants also received another experimental drug, remdesivir, which has become commonly used to treat patients with COVID-19. It is unclear how many volunteers were sick, and what the details of their illnesses were.
In large clinical trials, pauses are not unusual, and illnesses in volunteers are not necessarily the result of the experimental drug or vaccine. Such halts are meant to allow an independent board of scientific experts to review the data and determine whether the event may have been related to the treatment or occurred by chance.