The Food and Drug Administration granted Eli Lilly’s approval of the emergency antibody treatment application on Monday evening, which will allow patients without hospitalization at high risk for developing severe Covid-19. The aim of this class of active ingredients is to strengthen the immune system’s defenses and to prevent the virus from infecting human cells.
On Monday morning, Pfizer released data from his late-stage clinical study showing that his vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in the prevention of Covid-19 in patients who had not previously been infected.
“I’m very excited about the news from Pfizer yesterday and we hope it will make us obsolete. I don’t think that will be the case,” said Ricks “Squawk Box.”
“Well controlled too [other] Respiratory diseases … we still have vaccinations and antibody therapies because some patients escape the vaccine and still have the disease and need therapy, “he added.” Hopefully in the long run this will be useful in much smaller amounts “also in the fight against Covid-19.
Antibody drugs are likely to play a pivotal role in developing countries, where distributing a vaccine to prevent infection is likely to be more difficult than it is in the United States, according to Ricks. In particular, Ricks pointed to the messenger RNA-based vaccines from Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTechand the effort of Moderna. Pfizer’s vaccine has one Storage temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit, while Moderna has said its vaccine must be stored at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
These vaccines, Ricks said, “are very complicated to work around, and in countries like India and developing countries around the world it will take time to make and use them when we have them. They need a bridge.” This is perhaps much longer than in developed countries, and that’s why we’re committed to getting this antibody on to patients no matter where in the world they are. And that could actually take years. ”
president Donald Trump received a drug similar to Lilly for his Covid-19 diagnosis last month. Trump, who received therapy from Regeneronhas touted these types of treatments to help patients. Chris Christie, The former New Jersey governor and ally of the president received Lilly treatment when he was hospitalized with coronavirus in early fall.
Eli Lilly submitted his emergency clearance the beginning of October. The stock rose more than 4% on the Tuesday before trading. Regeneron has also applied for emergency clearance for its antibody treatment.
In late October, a government-run clinical trial investigating Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment in hospitalized coronavirus patients was canceled because it was “unlikely” to be of benefit to patients. At the time, Ricks told CNBC that he was confident that antibody therapy would be beneficial for Covid-19 patients earlier in their diagnosis.
ONE Studied in the New England Journal of Medicine, published in October, found that 1.6% of study participants who received Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment were hospitalized or had a coronavirus-related emergency room visit, compared with 6.3% of those who received the placebo .
Eli Lilly shipped about 88,000 doses of his antibody therapy on Monday, Ricks said, and the supply will continue to grow from there. “About 10,000 more will be released every few days through December,” he added. In December the company will produce around 800,000 cans.
Clarification: Ricks’ interview on CNBC was Tuesday.