Healthcare Business

Eli Lilly's COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Closes In on the Goal

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) shares made a handy gain on Wednesday after the company announced an update to its SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody programs. This update also included data on the firm’s combination therapy in recently diagnosed patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

It only makes sense for Eli Lilly to provide an update on its program after it was announced recently that President Trump caught COVID-19 and received Regeneron’s antibody treatment.

Data from a new interim analysis of the BLAZE-1 clinical trial showed that combination therapy with two of Eli Lilly’s SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies reduced viral load, symptoms and COVID-19-related hospitalization and ER visits.

The Phase 2 study evaluated LY-CoV555 and LY-CoV016, which bind complementary regions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, for the treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. The combination cohort enrolled recently diagnosed patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, who were assigned to 2800 mg of each antibody or a placebo.

The combination therapy significantly reduced viral load at day 11, meeting the primary endpoint of the study. Most patients, including those receiving placebo, demonstrated near complete viral clearance by day 11.

An exploratory analysis showed that the proportion of patients with persistent high viral load at day 7 for combination therapy was lower (3.0%) versus placebo (20.8%).

Based on the combination therapy data, along with the previously disclosed findings for LY-CoV555 monotherapy, Eli Lilly has engaged global regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, regarding a potential Emergency Use Authorization.

Management concluded by saying that it believes the data generated so far provides sufficient evidence that both monotherapy and combination therapy may be effective to treat COVID-19 in patients with a high risk for serious outcomes.

Eli Lilly stock traded up 2.5% Wednesday to $147.70, in a 52-week range of $101.36 to $170.75. The consensus price target is $165.13.