US-based drug company Eli Lilly and Co have said that a medicine specifically designed to treat the deadly COVID-19 disease will be authorised by September.
Lilly is also doing preclinical studies of a third antibody treatment for the illness caused by the new coronavirus that could enter human clinical trials in the coming weeks, Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky said in an interview.
The drugs belong to a class of biotech medicines called monoclonal antibodies widely used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and many other conditions. A monoclonal antibody drug developed against COVID-19 is likely to be more effective than repurposed medicines currently being tested against the virus.
Skovronsky said the therapies - which may also be used to prevent the disease - could beat a vaccine to widespread use as a COVID-19 treatment, if they prove effective.