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Lilly, Amgen Ink Manufacturing Deal for Coronavirus Antibodies

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Eli Lilly & Company (LLY - Free Report) signed a global manufacturing collaboration with Amgen (AMGN - Free Report) to increase the supply capacity of COVID-19 antibody therapies that Lilly is currently developing.

Lilly is making rigorous efforts to develop several potential neutralizing antibodies for the treatment COVID-19.

It is developing an antibody therapy candidate LYCoV555 in collaboration with AbCellera. Interim data fromthe phase II study (BLAZE-1) evaluating LY-CoV555 to treat mild-to-moderate recently-diagnosed COVID-19 patients was released this week. The study met the primary endpoint. Interim results from the same showed that treatment with LY-CoV555 led to a reduced rate of hospitalization for patients while consistent effects of viral reduction were seen at earlier time points.

Additionally, Lilly is conducting a separate phase III study on LYCoV555 for the prevention of COVID-19 at nursing homes

Lilly also has a separate collaboration with China-based Junshi Biosciences to co-develop therapeutic antibodies for COVID-19. The companies have completed dosing in a phase I study on LY-CoV016, the lead antibody from the alliance.

Further, Lilly is conducting a phase II study on an antibody that targets Angiopoietin 2, which has been observed to be elevated in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS.

The Amgen agreement will allow Lilly to increase production of the antibody therapies if any of the above candidates gets a regulatory approval.

Lilly’s stock has risen 16% this year so far against its industry’s increase of 0.9%.



Lilly and its partner Incyte (INCY - Free Report) are also conducting a phase III study evaluating their rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant (baricitinib) in combination with Gilead’s (GILD - Free Report) remdesivir  for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infections. Data from the study released this week showed that the study met the primary endpoint of reduction of time to recovery in comparison with remdesivir. The ACTT-2 study is being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and included more than 1,000 patients. This apart, Lilly is conducting a separate phase III study to evaluate Olumiant as a potential treatment for hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Based on data from the ACTT-2 study, Lilly will consider seeking emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA.

Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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