As of this Monday morning, in Britain, 35 people have died and 1,372 have been infected by COVID-19. Now officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the situation continues to escalate as deaths pass 6,500 worldwide.
In the latest efforts to tackle the spread, Eli Lilly and AbCellera have revealed plans to co-develop antibody products for the treatment and prevention of the virus, using Lilly’s abilities for rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of therapeutic antibodies, teamed with AbCellera's rapid pandemic response platform.
AbCellera has identified over 500 unique fully-human antibody sequences after screening blood from one of the first US patients who recovered from COVID-19, saying that its next steps are now to screen these antibodies to find the ones most effective in neutralising SARS-CoV-2.
According to the company, lots of these antibodies will be expressed in collaboration with partners at the Vaccine Research Centre at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and pending agreement with NIAID, will be tested for their ability to neutralise the virus.
Elsevier has also decided to make all of its research and data content on its COVID-19 Information Centre available to PubMed Central, the archive of biomedical and lifescience at the US. In January, the company created the COVID-19 Information Centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel virus, which is now updated daily with the latest research information.
Elsevier says the move was made in order to “improve the discoverability and utility of this important body of knowledge.”
Last week the NHS announced plans to significantly expand its coronavirus testing capabilities, with enhanced labs helping the health service carry out 10,000 tests daily.
Elsevier and Eli Lilly are joining the likes of Takeda and Gilead, who are initiating development of an anti-SARS polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG), and testing remdesivir as a response to the spread, respectively.