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UPDATE 1-Lilly-Vir's COVID-19 antibody combo reduces viral load in study

(Adds details on the study, background)

March 29 (Reuters) - Antibody treatments from Eli Lilly and Vir Biotech reduced viral load in low-risk COVID-19 patients, results from a mid-stage trial showed on Monday.

The trial is testing Lilly’s bamlanivimab given in combination with Vir and partner GlaxoSmithKline’s VIR-7831, the companies said.

The antibodies combination demonstrated a 70% reduction in viral load at day seven compared to placebo, the companies said.

Data from animal studies suggest the use of the two experimental antibodies together may provide protection against current variants of the coronavirus that are resistant to bamlanivimab alone, the companies said.

Bamlanivimab and VIR-7831 are monoclonal antibodies or manufactured copies of proteins produced by the body to fight coronavirus infection.

Bamlanivimab last November won U.S. emergency use authorization for COVID-19 patients not hospitalized but at risk of serious illness because of their age or other conditions.

GSK and Vir last week filed an application to U.S. regulators for emergency use authorization of VIR-7831 to treat early-stage COVID-19 infections.

No serious adverse events were seen with co-administration of bamlanivimab and VIR-7831, the companies said. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shinjini Ganguli)

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