AbCellera announced that bamlanivimab a human antibody developed through AbCellera’s collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company, was granted authorization by Health Canada under the Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19. Bamlanivimab, which has been shown in clinical trials to reduce viral load, symptoms, and hospitalizations, is authorized for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age or older with mild to moderate COVID-19 who weigh at least 40 kg and who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 illness and/or hospitalization. Details regarding the interim authorization can be found here.
“As a Canadian company, we are proud to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19 and hope our efforts will help people in Canada and around the world in the face of this medical emergency,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO of AbCellera. “We applaud Lilly for bringing bamlanivimab to patients at record speed and its commitment to ensuring treatment access for patients with high unmet needs, no matter where they live.”
Bamlanivimab received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on November 9, 2020. Both the Canadian interim authorization and American EUA are based on data from BLAZE-1, a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled Phase 2 study in patients with recently diagnosed mild to moderate COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. Bamlanivimab was the first monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19 to enter human testing in the United States and is currently undergoing multiple Phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials. Bamlanivimab was discovered from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 patient by AbCellera, scientists at the Vaccine Research Center at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Lilly.
AbCellera’s COVID-19 response was based on capabilities developed over the past two years as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program. The goal of P3 is to establish a robust technology platform for pandemic response capable of developing field-ready medical countermeasures within 60 days of isolation of an unknown viral pathogen.
Bamlanivimab is a recombinant, neutralizing human IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. It is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus, potentially treating COVID-19. Bamlanivimab emerged from the collaboration between Lilly and AbCellera to create antibody therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Lilly scientists rapidly developed the antibody in less than three months after it was discovered by AbCellera and the scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center. It was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients who recovered from COVID-19.
Lilly has successfully completed a Phase 1 study of bamlanivimab in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (NCT04411628). A Phase 2 study in people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the ambulatory setting (BLAZE-1, NCT04427501) is ongoing. A Phase 3 study of bamlanivimab for the prevention of COVID-19 in residents and staff at long-term care facilities (BLAZE-2, NCT04497987) is also ongoing. In addition, bamlanivimab is being tested in the National Institutes of Health-led ACTIV-2 study in ambulatory COVID-19 patients.