Coronavirus drug, the first anti-covid cure may be closer


By the end of June, the world’s first drug capable of fighting the virus that causes Covid-19 may arrive. It is an experimental medicine, called LY-CoV555, which was administered in recent days to a group of patients hospitalized as part of the first study ever performed on a potential antibody treatment against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Among the medical centers involved, some of the most important US hospitals: the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.



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The results are expected in a very short time, by the end of the month, as well as rapid (only three months) was the process that led the researchers of the pharmaceutical company Lilly to develop the antibody. The latter had been identified by the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the one directed by Anthony Fauci, in collaboration with AbCellera, on a blood sample taken from one of the first American patients recovered from Covid-19.



Vaccine, it ran against time

Technically, LY-CoV555 is a monoclonal antibody designed to block the entry of the virus into human cells. It is potentially usable in both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. Its effectiveness will be tested in the coming months both alone and in combination with other antibodies.



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“Such treatments promise to be effective countermeasures against coronavirus,” said Mark J. Mulligan, director of the division of infectious diseases and immunology, as well as director of the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Health. “Furthermore – added Daniel Skovronsky, scientific director and president of Lilly Research Laboratories – they are important for the groups most affected by the disease such as the elderly and people with compromised immune systems who will not be able to undergo the vaccine. Should LY-CoV555 prove to be part of the short-term solution for Covid-19, we want to make it available to patients as quickly as possible, already by the end of the year. “

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Mario Calabresi
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