AbCellera Provides COVID-19 Program Update with the Start of Phase 3 Clinical Trials and the Expansion of its COVID-19 Antibody Database

August 3, 2020

 As LY-CoV555 advances into Phase 3 COVID-19 prevention studies, AbCellera’s COVID-19 database reaches over 2,000 new antibodies against the virus, discovered from recovered patient samples

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, August 3, 2020 – AbCellera today announced that LY-CoV555, a human antibody discovered by AbCellera in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and co-developed with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) as a potential treatment and prophylaxis for COVID-19, has progressed to Phase 3 clinical trials. A first-of-its-kind, the Lilly-sponsored trial will use customized mobile research units to conduct the study at long-term care facilities across the United States. The study will include up to 2,400 participants and assess the ability of LY-CoV555 to prevent infection of long-term care residents and facility staff who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Additional details regarding the trial, which is being conducted in partnership with NIAID, a component of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, can be found here.

LY-CoV555 is a neutralizing antibody against SARS-CoV-2 that emerged from AbCellera’s collaboration with Lilly. Identified in early March, LY-CoV555 was the world’s first therapeutic candidate specifically developed against SARS-CoV-2 to enter human clinical trials. LY-CoV555 is also the fastest therapeutic antibody molecule ever developed, moving from first screen to clinical testing in 90 days. LY-CoV555 advanced to Phase 2 clinical trials on June 17.

“Lilly’s speed and resolve in advancing LY-CoV555 into Phase 2 and 3 studies has been remarkable and gives hope to all of us,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO of AbCellera. “This pandemic has shown us that therapies can be developed much faster than was thought possible. For AbCellera, it affirms our core belief that making long-term commitments in teams and technology is the key to quickly bringing new treatments to the patients who need them.”

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, AbCellera adapted its technology to rapidly respond to pandemics as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3). The goal of the program 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. To date, AbCellera has interrogated 61.8 million immune cells from multiple patient samples and identified more than 2,000 unique human antibodies that bind to the surface of SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies are in various stages of testing by AbCellera and its partners, which include Lilly and the VRC.

“Six months ago, the world knew very little about this virus. The data we are continually generating will be absolutely critical to bringing solutions to the pandemic,” said Ester Falconer, Ph.D., Head of Research and Development at AbCellera. “In a very short time, AbCellera has generated massive amounts of information about how the human immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2. Beyond the unique antibodies we’ve identified against the virus, we have data on thousands of related antibodies from the immune repertoires of multiple COVID-19 patient samples. These data sets will continue to inform treatment solutions to combat COVID-19.”

About LY-CoV555

LY-CoV555 is a potent, neutralizing 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 preventing and treating COVID-19.

About AbCellera Biologics Inc.

AbCellera is a privately held biotech with a drug discovery platform that searches and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that can be used to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera’s technology, which combines high-throughput microfluidics, hyper-scale data science, machine learning, bioinformatics, and genomics, identifies new first-in-class drugs and reduces the time it takes to bring treatments to the clinic. AbCellera's partners include leading biotechnology companies, global health organizations, and many of the top 10 biopharmaceutical companies. For more information, visit


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