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Eli Lilly Announces Commercial Availability of Its COVID-19 Drug

Story Highlights

Pharma giant Eli Lilly plans to launch its COVID-19 drug, bebtelovimab, commercially this month.

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) plans to start selling its COVID-19 monoclonal antibody, bebtelovimab, commercially to healthcare providers from August 15, a report published by The Wall Street Journal said.

The move is unlike the distribution of any other COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and comes as the U.S. federal government is almost running out of the drug.

Earlier, the Indiana-based company sold all its doses of bebtelovimab to the federal government via contracts. Thereafter, the government either distributed the doses for free or allocated them to pharmacies or states.

The government is expected to deplete its stock of bebtelovimab by as early as August 22. It also does not have funds to buy more doses.

Lilly’s Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, Daniel Skovronsky, said, “I don’t anticipate that this will in any way stimulate usage of the product. It’s more just about, how do we keep it available despite the U.S. government not being able to purchase it anymore. That’s why we’re switching to a different model here.”

The shift in the distribution could lead to the uninsured patients not getting the drug, as Lilly plans to charge $2,100 per dose. Previously, the drug was available for free to the uninsured.

Q2 Results at a Glance

Eli Lilly released its second-quarter results before the market opened on August 4. Revenues declined 4% year-ago-year to $6.5 billion.

Adjusted EPS fell 32% to $1.25, significantly below the consensus estimate of $1.70 per share.

Further, the pharma company has updated its guidance for full-year 2022 and expects adjusted EPS to range from $7.90 to $8.05. Revenues are anticipated between $28.8 billion and $29.3 billion for 2022.

Lilly Has over 11% Upside Potential

On TipRanks, LLY stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating based on eight Buys and one Hold. LLY’s average price target of $349 implies upside potential of 11.2%.

Investor Confidence Shaky

After the results were announced, LLY stock lost 2.3% in Thursday’s pre-market trading session. It closed 2% lower on Wednesday. Even though exchange rate fluctuations and lower realized prices hurt Lilly’s revenues, the government and commercial availability of bebtelovimab could add $275 million to the annual sales of the drug.

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