Oct 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Institutes of Health
(NIH) said on Tuesday it has started a study to evaluate two
antibody treatments in COVID-19 patients as part of the agency's
program to identify promising drugs to help tackle the new
The trial will test AbbVie Inc's psoriasis drug
risankizumab along with Gilead Sciences' antiviral
remdesivir, compared to a placebo and remdesivir.
The study will also test Humanigen's experimental
drug lenzilumab with remdesivir, compared to placebo and
"The goal here is to identify as quickly as possible the
experimental therapeutics that demonstrate the most clinical
promise as COVID-19 treatments and move them into larger-scale
testing," said NIAID Director and U.S. infectious diseases
expert Anthony Fauci.
Gilead's remdesivir, which was among the first to be used to
treat COVID-19 and received emergency use authorization from the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May, has since been
authorized for use in several other countries.
Risankizumab and lenzilumab belong to a class of drugs known
as monoclonal antibodies that are laboratory-made versions of
proteins naturally produced by the immune system in response to
invading viruses or other pathogens.
The treatment has come under the spotlight after U.S.
President Donald Trump was treated with Regeneron
Pharmaceuticals' antibody drug earlier this month.
Regeneron and Eli Lilly have both applied to the
U.S. FDA for emergency use of their antibody treatments.
(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; editing by Ankur Banerjee and