What happened? 

Shares of Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) surged on Tuesday morning after the drugmaker reported positive results from a clinical trial for Verzenio (abemaciclib), a cancer treatment. The company's stock is up by 15.2% as of 12:08 p.m. EDT today. 

So what

Verzenio is a CDK4 & 6 inhibitor, a type of drug that targets enzymes called CDK4 and CDK6. This medicine is already approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and advanced breast cancer. Verzenio is currently being investigated as a potential treatment for early breast cancer in patients who are "at a high risk of recurrence." Interim analysis of a phase 3 clinical trial for the drug revealed that Verzenio, in combination with standard adjuvant therapy, achieved the primary endpoint of invasive disease-free survival, "significantly decreasing the risk of breast cancer recurrence or death" when compared to standard endocrine therapy alone.

Man on a ladder drawing an upward pointing graph on a board.

Image source: Getty Images.

Eli Lilly said that despite tremendous advances in the treatment of breast cancer, about 30% of those diagnosed with some forms of early breast cancer are at risk of cancer recurrence. In other words, there is a need in this particular market, and based on the interim analysis of this study, Verzenio might just be the answer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world among women, which means that this could turn out to be an exciting opportunity for Eli Lilly. The pharma giant plans on sharing data from this study with regulatory authorities.

Now what

Eli Lilly has been making quite a lot of noise of late. The company has started three separate clinical trials for investigational COVID-19 treatments since the beginning of the month. Even before today's good news, Eli Lilly's stock was performing extremely well, especially when compared to the broader market. As of this writing, the company's shares are up by 23.98%.