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Eli Lilly Halts Antibody COVID-19 Trial

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Eli Lilly Halts Antibody COVID-19 Trial

In the race to get COVID-19 treatment options to market, Eli Lilly is the latest to suffer a setback.

What Happened: The New York Times reports Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE: LLY) paused its Phase 3 clinical trial for the ACTIV-3 antibody treatment.

The pause comes as there is a “potential safety concern.” Pauses allow an independent board to review the data and determine if the safety concern came from the treatment or from chance.

Eli Lilly is testing the benefits of its antibody therapy on hundreds of hospitalized patients who have COVID-19. The patients also receive remdesivir, an anti-viral from Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD).

The trial from Eli Lilly is government-sponsored and had been enrolling additional patients prior to the pause.

“Safety is of the utmost importance to Lilly. Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent D.S.M.B. to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in the study,” Eli Lilly spokeswoman Molly McCully told CNBC.

Related Link: Cramer Doesn’t Like Buying Regeneron’s Stock Just Because Of Trump Treatment

Why It’s Important: Pauses aren’t uncommon in large trials. This pause follows one from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) for its COVID-19 vaccine trial a day earlier. AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) saw a COVID-19 vaccine trial halted last month.

The treatment from Eli Lilly is similar to one from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN), which was given to President Donald Trump.

Both Eli Lilly and Regeneron have applied for emergency clearance for their products by the FDA. Eli Lilly applied for the authorization to use its antibody treatment in mild cases of non-hospitalized patients. Remdesivir has already received emergency authorization from the FDA.

Antibody treatments have shows they can block the coronavirus from infecting cells.

Price Action: Shares of Eli Lilly closed down 2.8% to $150.08 on Tuesday. Shares of Regeneron closed up 1% to $607.98 on Tuesday after hitting $616 on the Eli Lilly news.

Johnson & Johnson shares were down 2% to $148.36.

 

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