Study: Lilly’s experimental COVID-19 drug may reduce hospitalizations

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Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. were up 0.8% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after an analysis published in theNew England Journal of Medicine found that the drug maker’s experimental antibody treatment led to fewer hospitalizations and “symptom burden” compared with those COVID-19 patients who had received a placebo. Earlier on Wednesday Lilly announced a deal with the U.S. government to acquire 300,000 doses of the still-unauthorized treatment for $375 million. The drug, bamlanivimab, which is also referred to as LY-CoV555, has not received an emergency use authorization or full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. “If these results are confirmed in additional analyses in this trial, LY-CoV555 could become a useful treatment for emergency use in patients with recently diagnosed COVID-19,” the researchers concluded. The randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study is testing three doses of the investigational antibody-based treatment in about 450 recently diagnosed people with mild or moderate COVID-19. The middle dose, 2800 milligrams, was the most effective, according to the analysis. Lilly’s stock is down 0.1% so far this year. The S&P 500 is up 4.9%.
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