INDIANAPOLIS: Eli Lillys new COVID-19 treatment helped the drugmakers fourth-quarter profit surge even though U.S. regulators approved its use late in the quarter.
The antibody treatment bamlanivimab brought in $871 million in sales for Lilly after the Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use in November for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
The one-time treatment is given through an IV and can be used for patients who are 12 and older who dont require hospitalization.
Lilly said the U.S. government has agreed to buy nearly1.5 million doses of the drug, and 950,000 have already been delivered. Nearly all of the drugs sales in the quarter came from the United States.
Lilly said Friday that its overall revenue jumped 22% in the quarter to $7.44 billion. Net income rose 42% compared to the final quarter of 2019 to $2.12 billion. Adjusted earnings totaled $2.75 per share.
That topped Wall Street expectations. Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $2.37 per share on $7.27 billion n revenue.
Lilly is still studying bamlanivimab. Early research results suggested that it may help clear the coronavirus sooner and possibly cut hospitalizations in people with mild to moderate cases.
The drugmaker also said last week that the antibody treatment can prevent COVID-19 illness in residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations, which have been devastated by the pandemic.
Lilly said it plans to work with regulators to see about expanding the authorization to prevent and treat COVID-19 in those facilities, where vaccinations are already underway.
Experts have said drugs like Lillys could serve as a bridge to help manage the virus until vaccines are widely available.
Shares of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. jumped 3%, or $6.97, to $217.09 in premarket trading Friday.
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