Shortage of monkeys slowed down Eli Lilly's Covid-19 antibody partner. And it's a problem for everyone
It may not be surprising that Shanghai Junshi Biosciences has pushed back some clinical trials to prioritize its Eli Lilly-partnered Covid-19 antibody. But what exactly was sucking up their time is almost certain to raise some eyebrows: The company spent months finding enough monkeys on which to test the experimental drug.
Junshi’s plight highlights a serious, if oft-underlooked, challenge that’s beset the whole biomedical research enterprise. Testing a molecule on non-human primates is often a crucial final step before it can be moved into the clinic, but a confluence of factors have resulted in a shortage in both the US and Europe just as drugmakers were scrambling to put their experimental programs through trials at record speed.
Unlock this article instantly by becoming a free subscriber.
You’ll get access to free articles each month, plus you can customize what newsletters get delivered to your inbox each week, including breaking news.