New data show treatment with etesevimab (JS016) and bamlanivimab together reduced risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations and death by 70 percent

  • Trial met primary endpoint and key secondary endpoints with high statistical significance
  • Results from more than 1,000 high-risk patients were consistent with previous data
  • In November, Lilly submitted a EUA request to the FDA for etesevimab and bamlanivimab together for mild to moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients, which remains under review by the FDA
  • Findings from BLAZE-4 trial provide data on lower doses of etesevimab and bamlanivimab together

SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Junshi Biosciences (HKEX: 1877; SSE: 688180), a leading innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies, announced today that etesevimab (JS016 or LY-CoV016) 2800 mg and bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 2800 mg together significantly reduced COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths (collectively, “events”) in high-risk patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19, meeting the primary endpoint of the Phase 3 BLAZE-1 trial, according to the company’s global partner Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY). Across 1,035 patients, there were 11 events (2.1 percent) in patients taking therapy and 36 events (7.0 percent) in patients taking placebo, representing a 70 percent risk reduction (p= 0.0004). There were 10 deaths total, all of which occurred in patients taking placebo, and no deaths in patients taking etesevimab and bamlanivimab together.

Etesevimab and bamlanivimab together also demonstrated statistically significant improvements on all key secondary endpoints, providing strong evidence that the therapy reduced viral load and accelerated symptom resolution.

In the trial, the safety profile of etesevimab and bamlanivimab together was consistent with observations from other Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials evaluating these antibodies. Serious adverse events were reported at a similar frequency in the etesevimab and bamlanivimab together and placebo groups. Across multiple clinical trials, Lilly has collected safety and efficacy data in more than 4,000 participants treated with its neutralizing antibodies, either bamlanivimab alone or bamlanivimab and etesevimab together.

Additionally, initial results from the ongoing BLAZE-4 trial provide viral load and pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic data which demonstrated lower doses, including etesevimab 1400 mg and bamlanivimab 700 mg together, are similar to etesevimab 2800 mg and bamlanivimab 2800 mg together. Lilly plans to explore even lower doses of etesevimab and bamlanivimab together, as lower doses can maximize available supply to treat more patients, allow potential for subcutaneous dosing, and potentially reduce the burden on healthcare system and patients through reduced infusion times.

Bamlanivimab is authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients, and it has also been granted authorizations in several additional countries.

In November, Lilly submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization for etesevimab and bamlanivimab together as another treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients. It remains under review by the FDA.

Lilly has received feedback from front-line nurses and doctors administering these infusions regarding the complexity and time requirements for preparation and administration. As a result, Lilly is working with the FDA to potentially reduce infusion times to be as short as 16 minutes – a significant reduction from the currently authorized time of 60 minutes. This potential change is aimed at simplifying administration and reducing the burden on the healthcare system.

Lilly will continue to accelerate the manufacturing of etesevimab in collaboration with Amgen, providing up to 1 million doses of etesevimab for administration with bamlanivimab by mid-2021 – including more than 250,000 doses in the first quarter – for use around the world.

About etesevimab(JS016)
Etesevimab (JS016 or LY-CoV016) is a recombinant fully human monoclonal neutralizing antibody, which specifically binds to the SARS-CoV-2 surface spike protein receptor binding domain with high affinity and can block the binding of the virus to the ACE2 host cell surface receptor. Point mutations were introduced into the native human IgG1 antibody to mitigate effector function. Lilly licensed etesevimab from Junshi Biosciences after it was jointly developed by Junshi Biosciences and Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science (IMCAS). Junshi Biosciences leads development in Greater China, while Lilly leads development in the rest of the world.

Lilly has successfully completed a Phase 1 study (NCT04441931) of etesevimab in healthy U.S. volunteers to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity. A Phase 2/3 study in people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the ambulatory setting (BLAZE-1, NCT04427501) is ongoing. Junshi Biosciences has completed a similar Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers in China and has initiated Phase 1b/2 trials in COVID-19 patients globally.

About bamlanivimab(LY-CoV555)
Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) is a recombinant, neutralizing human 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 treating COVID-19. Bamlanivimab emerged from the collaboration between Lilly and AbCellera to create antibody therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Lilly scientists rapidly developed the antibody in less than three months after it was discovered by AbCellera and the scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center. It was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients who recovered from COVID-19.

Lilly has successfully completed a Phase 1 study of bamlanivimab in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (NCT04411628). A Phase 2/3 study in people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the ambulatory setting (BLAZE-1, NCT04427501) is ongoing. A Phase 3 study of bamlanivimab for the prevention of COVID-19 in residents and staff at long-term care facilities (BLAZE-2, NCT04497987) is also ongoing. In addition, bamlanivimab is being tested in the National Institutes of Health-led ACTIV-2 study in ambulatory COVID-19 patients.

About BLAZE-1
BLAZE-1 (NCT04427501) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2/3 study designed to assess the efficacy and safety of bamlanivimab alone or bamlanivimab and etesevimab together for the treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. To be eligible, patients were required to have mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 as well as a positive SARS-CoV-2 test based on a sample collected no more than three days prior to drug infusion.

In the Phase 2 portion of BLAZE-1, cohorts of mild to moderate recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients, were randomized to one of three doses of bamlanivimab (700 mg, 2800 mg, and 7000 mg), etesevimab 2800 mg plus bamlanivimab 2800 mg, or placebo. Results from the Phase 2 cohorts of BLAZE-1 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the Phase 3 portion of BLAZE-1, the combination therapy arms enrolled mild to moderate, recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization, studying etesevimab 2800 mg plus bamlanivimab 2800 mg versus placebo. The primary outcome measure for the Phase 3 portion of the BLAZE-1 trial was the percentage of participants who experience COVID-related hospitalizations or death from any cause by day 29. The key secondary endpoints were change from baseline to day 7 in SARS-CoV-2 viral load, persistently high SARS-CoV-2 viral load on day 7, time to sustained symptom resolution, and COVID-related hospitalization, ER visit or death from any cause from baseline by day 29. Additional endpoints include change from baseline in viral load at other time points, symptom improvement, symptom resolution, as well as safety.

The study is ongoing with additional treatment arms. Across all treatment arms, the trial will enroll up to 3,300 participants.

About BLAZE-4
BLAZE-4 (NCT04634409) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial designed to assess the efficacy and safety of bamlanivimab alone, and bamlanivimab and etesevimab together, at various doses, versus placebo for the treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. Across all treatment arms, the trial will enroll an estimated 1,000 participants in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The primary outcome measure is percentage of participants who have a viral load greater than 5.27 at day 7. Additional endpoints include change from baseline to Day 7 in SARS-CoV-2 viral load, percentage of participants who experience COVID-related hospitalization, ER visit or death from baseline through Day 29, as well as safety.

About Junshi Biosciences
Founded in December 2012, Junshi Biosciences (HK: 1877; SH: 688180) is an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics. The company has established a diversified R & D pipeline comprising 27 innovative drug candidates and 2 biosimilars, with five therapeutic focus areas covering cancer, autoimmune, metabolic, neurological, and infectious diseases. Junshi Biosciences was the first Chinese pharmaceutical company that obtained marketing approval for anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody in China. Its first-in-human anti-BTLA antibody for solid tumors was the first in the world to be approved for clinical trials by the FDA and NMPA and its anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody was the first in China to be approved for clinical trials by the NMPA. In early 2020, Junshi Biosciences joined forces with the Institute of Microbiology Chinese Academy of Science and Eli Lilly to co-develop JS016, China’s first neutralizing fully human monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2, which has entered clinical trials and is now a part of our continuous innovation for disease control and prevention of the global pandemic. Junshi Biosciences has over 2,000 employees in the United States (San Francisco and Maryland) and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou). For more information, please visit: http://junshipharma.com.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at www.lilly.com and www.lilly.com/news.P-LLY

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