The United States has kick-started the final stages of clinical drug trials in its fight against the novel coronavirus. Officials on Tuesday also revealed that the medicine is an antibody called LY-CoV555, which finds it origin in a blood sample of a recovered patient.

The antibody was then developed synthetically for large scale production by U.S.-based Lilly Research Laboratories in collaboration with Abcellera. The phase 3 trials will comprise the participation of 300 infected patients who’ve been tested with mild to moderate levels of COVID-19. The aim of the trials is to ensure sustained recovery of the patients for 14 days upon hospital discharge.

“Studying the impact of this investigational therapeutic on multiple patient populations at the same time is critical to determining whether it can help Covid-19 patients with differing levels of disease severity,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

The new Phase 3 project will be helmed by Jens Lundgren, of the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet. The trials are likely to accommodate up to 1,000 people including the critically ill, if LY-CoV555 proves effective after being consumed for five days straight. Aside from being administered the antibody, patients will also receive the standard medication – Remdesivir.

What needs to be noted is that vaccines ideally function by equipping the body to make produce antibodies. On the other hand, given the current global health crisis, scientists are working towards testing ready-made antibodies from the blood of recovered patients, called convalescent plasma. But it is not possible to manufacture convalescent plasma or even make it a large-scale treatment.

Researchers are also considering sieving through antibodies produced by recovered patients, in order to choose the most effective ones, and then manufacture it on a large-scale basis. The United States of America currently stands at the number one spot among the list of countries to be hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The country logged in over 4 million positive cases and 159,000 fatalities. The pandemic has ravaged the globe, infecting over 18.4 million people worldwide, pushing several nations into stringent lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Drug - Remdesivir
One vial of the drug Remdesivir lies during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. ULRICH PERREY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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