Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. gained 2.6% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the drug maker said interim data from a mid-stage clinical trial assessing its experimental antibody treatment reduced the rate of hospitalization as well as viral load in some COVID-19 patients. The investigational therapy, LY-CoV555, is produced using neutralizing antibodies gathered from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The ongoing, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study is expected to enroll a total of 800 participants, all of whom have mild to moderate symptoms and are being treated with LY-CoV555 in an outpatient setting. Lilly said the rate of hospitalization and emergency room visit was 1.7% for patients taking the drug, while the rate of hospitalization and ER visits for patients taking the placebo was 6.0%. "The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19," Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly's chief scientific officer, said in a news release. The full data is expected to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Lilly's stock is up 14.2% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has rallied 5.2%.
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