World

Eli Lilly pauses trial of drug that Trump touted as Covid-19 ‘cure’

INDIANAPOLIS: Eli Lilly and Co said on Tuesday that the government-sponsored clinical trial of its Covid-19 antibody treatment, similar to one taken by US President Donald Trump, has been paused because of a safety concern.

Mr Trump touted the Lilly drug, along with the antibody treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that he received, as tantamount to a cure in a video he posted last week.

The announcement comes one day after Johnson & Johnson said it was forced to pause a large high-profile trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because a volunteer fell ill.

J&J said it does not yet know if that person was given the vaccine or a placebo.

AstraZeneca's US trial for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine has also been on hold for over a month after a volunteer in its British study fell ill. Trials of that vaccine resumed in other regions after a brief halt.

Lilly said earlier this month it was applying for emergency use authorisation for the antibody drug, LY-CoV555, for patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 based on data from another clinical trial.

It is not uncommon to pause drug trials to investigate safety concerns, and such actions do not necessarily indicate a serious problem.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the Activ-3 independent data safety monitoring board has recommended a pause in enrolment," Lilly spokesman Molly McCully said. - REUTERS

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