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Eli Lilly Shares Gain After Positive Data From Late-Stage Covid Treatment Trial

Eli Lilly said data from a late-stage trial showed that its coronavirus antibody combination reduced the risk of death and hospitalization in high-risk patients by 70%.

Eli Lilly & Co.  (LLY) - Get Eli Lilly and Company Report said Tuesday that its developing coronavirus treatment significantly reduced hospitalizations and fatalities for high-risk patients in late-stage trials.

Eli Lilly said its two treatments -- Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 2800 mg and etesevimab (LY-CoV016) -- reduced the risk of either death of hospitalization by 70% when compared to high-risk patients taking only a placebo. The treatment pair also showed "statistically significant improvements" on all of the key secondary endpoints in Eli Lilly's phase 3 "Blaze-1" trial, the company said, allowing it to explore a lower-dose course in an upcoming trial.

"These exciting results, which replicate positive Phase 2 data in a much larger set of patients, add valuable clinical evidence about the role neutralizing antibodies can play in fighting this pandemic. While the preliminary nature of Phase 2 results from COVID-19 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies may have limited acceptance of treatment, these Phase 3 data further strengthen the available evidence," said Eli Lilly's chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky.

"The death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise around the world and hospitalizations, particularly in the U.S., have reached record highs. These data further support our belief that bamlanivimab and etesevimab together have the potential to be an important treatment that significantly reduces hospitalizations and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients," he added

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Eli Lilly shares were marked 1.5% higher in pre-market trading Tuesday to indicate an opening bell price of $215.50 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 34.5%.

Last month, Eli Lilly boosted its 2020 profit forecast, and issued fresh guidance for the following year, as it unveiled a $1 billion deal to buy gene therapy developer Prevail Therapeutics  (PRVL) - Get Prevail Therapeutics, Inc. Report.

Eli Lilly said 2020 revenues should come in between $24.2 billion to $24.7 billion, a $500 million increase from its prior forecast, with reported earnings in the region of $6.28 to $6.48 per share, an 8 cents per share increase.

For the 2021 year, Eli Lilly said it expects revenues in the region of $26.5 billion to $28 billion, with reported earnings of between $7.25 per share and $7.90 per share.

Eli Lilly will publish its fourth quarter earnings on Friday January 29.