NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drug company Eli Lilly has received emergency use authorization for its antibody drug, which is similar to the antibody drug President Donald Trump received after testing positive for COVID-19.

But there have been numerous antibodies in various testing phases, CBS2’S Dr. Max Gomez reported Tuesday.

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All antibodies, whether human or synthetic, are designed to attach to very specific receptors on germs and fight them off. The vaccines being tested against COVID-19 are designed to get the body to make antibodies against the coronavirus. However, some companies are skipping the body step; instead making antibodies in the lab and giving them as a drug.


The Eli Lilly drug that just received emergency use authorization, not full approval, is a mono-clonal antibody, made by cloning the gene in the immune system that tells white blood cells to make anti-corona antibodies. In the lab, that gene is then inserted into cells, instructing them to manufacture large quantities of the antibody drug.

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The Lilly drug Bamlanivimab is directed against the spike protein on the virus and it should neutralize its ability to attach and gain entry into human cells.

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The experimental antibody drug from Regeneron that President Trump received is similar to Lilly’s, but it is a cocktail of two mono-clonal antibodies. Both are also designed to interfere with different parts of the virus spike protein.

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Then there are other antibody drugs aimed at different aspects of COVID-19 disease. One from CytoDyn is in Phase 3 trials in the New York area. It’s a drug first used to treat AIDS and attaches to receptors on white blood cells, blocking the cytokine storm that produces runaway, deadly inflammation in the lungs.

Some of these antibodies are used in early-stage disease, while others are used in hospitalized patients. Others may even prevent infection, but none have yet proven themselves safe and effective enough to receive full Food and Drug Administration approval.


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