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Lilly cuts 2021 guidance to reflect ‘lower expected revenue’ from COVID-19 antibody sales

FDA recently removed emergency authorisation for bamlanivimab monotherapy

Eli Lilly has cut is 2021 outlook after adjusting its forecast to reflect 'lower expected revenue' from its COVID-19 antibody sales, after the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for its bamlanivimab monotherapy was revoked in the US.

In the first quarter, Lilly reported a net income of $1.355bn, down from the $1.457bn reported in the same period last year.

The company did, however, see an overall revenue growth of 16% compared to Q1 2020, excluding revenue from its COVID-19 antibodies as well as approximately $250m of Q1 revenue from increased customer buying patterns and patient prescription trends.

This increase can be attributed to Lily’s key growth products, including Trulicity, Verzenio, Olumiant, Tyvyt, Emgality, Jardiance, Retevmo, Cyramza and Taltz.

In addition, operating costs also increased to $3.261bn, primarily driven by approximately $220m in research and development costs for its COVID-19 antibody assets.

During an earnings call on Tuesday, Lilly’s chief financial officer Anat Ashkenazi said the company is “narrowing” its range for COVID-19 antibody revenue, from the previously forecasted $1bn to $2bn to the newly adjusted $1bn to $1.5bn. In Q1, the total revenue for Lilly’s COVID-19 antibodies was $650.6m in the US and $159.5m elsewhere.

“Based on the rollout of the vaccine across major markets, current antibody utilisation rate, existing US government bamlanivimab supply and the transition to only supply bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together in the US, we believe this update range contemplates a variety of potential scenarios,” she added.

As a result, Lilly has also shaved off approximately $400m from its full-year forecast, now projecting 2021 revenue to be between $26.6bn. and $27.6bn.

Earlier this month, Lilly announced that it had asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke the EUA for bamlanvimab administered alone.

The company is now attempting to transition to a combination of bamlanivimab and estevimab in a bid to address the potential challenge of treatment resistant variants, which are likely to resist treatment with either mAb when used alone.

“Due to the rapidly evolving and geographically diverse nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, continued scientific innovation remains critical to develop additional treatments,” said Lilly.

The company said that it is ‘committed’ to developing further treatment to address potential future SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

28th April 2021

From: Sales

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