Source: Market Watch
Government to test remdesivir with Lilly drug in COVID-19 patients
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said Friday it is testing Gilead Sciences Inc.’s (GILD) remdesivir in combination with Eli Lilly & Co.’s (LLY) rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant in COVID-19 patients as part of the next phase of the randomized, controlled clinical trial that led to the authorization of remdesivir (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-gileads-remdesivir-became-the-leader-in-the-rush-to-find-a-treatment-for-covid-19-2020-05-01).
This study will enroll 1,000 people at more than 100 sites in the U.S. and abroad, to “examine if adding an anti-inflammatory agent to the remdesivir regimen can provide additional benefit for patients,” NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a statement. The topline results from the remdesivir trial helped make up the basis of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization for the drug last week.
A number of medicines that have been previously approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis have been proposed as possible COVID-19 treatments (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/covid-19-treatment-yields-disappointing-data-in-trial-and-shows-its-not-easy-to-develop-drugs-2020-04-28), including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) and Sanofi’s (SAN.FR) Kevzara and Roche Holding AG‘s Actemra. Olumiant, which was developed by Incyte Corp. (INCY) and is licensed to Lilly, brought in $427 million in sales in 2019 for the Indianapolis-based drugmaker. Only two types of therapies – remdesivir and hydroxycholorquine and chlorquine – are authorized by the FDA as COVID-19 treatments. Year-to-date, Gilead’s stock has gained 18.6%, while shares of Lilly are up 16.6%. The S&P 500 is down 10.8%.