U.S. pauses Eli Lilly antibody drug trial over safety concern

(EDITORS PLEASE NOTE - changes headline to show the federal government, not Eli Lilly, made the decision to pause a clinical trial of the company's antibody drug)

U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly said on Tuesday that the government-sponsored clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment has been put on hold because of a safety concern.

A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said in an emailed statement, quote: "Out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment." "Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study."

News of the pause also comes after Johnson & Johnson said on Monday that it had temporarily paused clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

Eli Lilly's drug is similar to the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals treatment President Donald Trump received after he contracted COVID-19.

Lilly had already asked U.S. regulators to authorize its antibody therapy for emergency use after publishing data in September showing it helped cut hospitalization and emergency room visits for COVID-19 patients.

Shares of Eli Lilly were down nearly 3% at Tuesday's close.

Video Transcript

US drugmaker Eli Lilly said on Tuesday that the government-sponsored clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatments has been put on hold because of a safety concern. A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said in an emailed statement, quote, "Out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board has recommended a pause in enrollment. Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study."

News of the pause also comes after Johnson & Johnson said on Monday that it had temporarily paused clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidates due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

Eli Lilly's drug is similar to the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals treatment President Donald Trump received after he contracted COVID-19. Lilly had already asked US regulators to authorize its antibody therapy for emergency use after publishing data in September showing it helped cut hospitalization and emergency room visits for COVID-19 patients. Shares of Eli Lilly were down nearly 3% at Tuesday's close.