Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Eli Lilly Starts Clinical Trial for Potential COVID-19 Treatment

By Prosper Junior Bakiny – Apr 11, 2020 at 4:39PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The pharma company believes that its rheumatoid arthritis treatment Olumiant could be effective at treating COVID-19 patients.

Eli Lilly (LLY -1.27%) is one of the many drugmakers that have been looking to develop a treatment for COVID-19, and the company recently announced it was making progress in its efforts to do so. Eli Lilly partnered up with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study the safety and efficacy of Olumiant as a potential treatment for COVID-19. The FDA approved Olumiant in June 2018 as a treatment for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Eli Lilly now thinks the RA medicine -- because of its anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system -- may be effective at treating COVID-19 patients.

The NIAID is leading the clinical trial for Olumiant, which will involve hospitalized patients in the U.S. diagnosed with COVID-19. Results from the study should be available within two months. Eli Lilly is also planning on starting a separate phase 2 clinical trial for an antibody called LY3127804 as a potential treatment against COVID-19. This trial, which will begin in late April, will mainly target "pneumonia patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are at a higher risk of progressing to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)."

Woman on the phone wearing a face mask.

Image Source: Getty Images.

Though Eli Lilly's progress is commendable, Gilead Sciences' (GILD -0.83%) antiviral drug, remdesivir, remains the most promising potential treatment for COVID-19. The pharma giant recently announced encouraging results from an analysis of patients suffering from COVID-19 who were treated with remdesivir on a compassionate basis. The analysis showed that the majority of those treated with remdesivir demonstrated clinical improvement. However, as this analysis did not stem from formal clinical studies, it is essential to take its conclusion with a grain of salt. 

Prosper Junior Bakiny has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Eli Lilly and Company Stock Quote
Eli Lilly and Company
LLY
$307.50 (-1.27%) $-3.96
Gilead Sciences, Inc. Stock Quote
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
GILD
$62.34 (-0.83%) $0.52

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
327%
 
S&P 500 Returns
105%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.