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March 12 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly Co and privately-held AbCellera Biologics Inc on Thursday announced they would co-develop antibody products for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, a flu-like disease caused by the fast-spreading coronavirus.
With the collaboration, Lilly joins other drugmakers like Gilead Sciences Inc and Biogen Inc in an attempt to develop a treatment for the disease which has caused more than 4,700 deaths globally.
"Our goal with AbCellera is to be testing potential new therapies in patients within the next four months," Lilly's Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky said.
Earlier on Thursday, Biogen announced a partnership with drug developer Vir Biotechnology Inc for the development of infection-fighting proteins known as monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19.
Drugmaker Gilead is also testing its experimental therapy remdesivir in treating the COVID-19 and is expected to announce results from its ongoing clinical trials over the next month.
AbCellera and Lilly will equally share initial development costs towards a product, the companies said.
Lilly will be responsible for all further development, manufacturing and distribution of the product. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)