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Lilly (LLY) to Supply COVID Cocktail Drug to EU Countries

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Elli Lilly (LLY - Free Report) announced that it has entered into a joint procurement agreement with the European Commission to supply up to 220,000 doses of its antibody cocktail, bamlanivimab together with etesevimab, for the treatment of confirmed COVID-19.

The cocktail is suitable for COVID patients aged at least 12 years old who are at an increased risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and do not require supplemental oxygen.

We remind investors that the cocktail is yet to receive approval for emergency use or regular approval at the EU level. Following approval/temporary authorization, the agreement will allow EU member nations to procure varying quantities of bamlanivimab and etesevimab directly from the company, per their local needs.

In March, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use in March 2021 gave apositive opinion recommending the approval of bamlanivimab and etesevimab together as a treatment for COVID-19 in patients aged 12 and older.

In the year so far, Lilly’s stock price has risen 36.3% in comparison with the industry’s 9% rise.

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Subsequent to the rising cases of the contagious Alpha and Delta variants, the demand for antibody drugs has significantly increased. In countries where vaccination rates are low, the rising cases have put focus on the antibody cocktail. Data from preclinical studies demonstrate that Lilly’s bamlanivimab-etesevimab combination neutralizes activity against the Alpha and Delta variants.

Please note that the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab was granted emergency approval by the FDA in February 2021 to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients. Neither of the antibody drugs is approved for monotherapy use. Sales of the cocktail therapy experienced a significant decline in second-quarter 2021 due to lower demand for the therapy amid rising vaccinations and increased competition from REGEN-COV, a COVID-19 antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron (REGN - Free Report) .

Last week, the company announced that the FDA has expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for its cocktail antibody medicine, bamlanivimab plus etesevimab, to include the post-exposure prevention (prophylaxis) for COVID-19 indication.

Regeneron and Lilly have also entered into new agreements with the U.S. government to supply additional doses of their respective COVID-19 antibody drugs amid greater demand due to rising infection rates in the country.

The company is also evaluating bamlanivimab in combination with Glaxo (GSK - Free Report) /Vir Biotechnology (VIR - Free Report) ’s VIR-7831 in a phase II study for COVID-19 patients.

Zacks Rank

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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