The share price of American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly rose almost 3.5% in U.S. trading Wednesday after the company said it submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the emergency approval use of its COVID-19 antibody drug.
The treatment has reportedly proven effective in reducing COVID-19 symptoms that resulted in patients being hospitalized. Combined with another drug it manufactures patients infected with the virus had reportedly experienced fewer symptoms.
Eli Lilly's share price increased from a close of $144 per share Tuesday to an opening of $148.52 per share Wednesday and ended the day at $148.96 a share.
According to the company, it submitted a request to the Food and Drug Administration for the emergency use of its treatment. It said it would submit a similar request for the combination treatment next month. Based on its studies, the combination treatment "significantly reduced" the viral load of patients infected with the virus within two weeks without any "serious" side effects.
Eli Lilly said if approved the company could supply up to 100,000 doses in October and up to 50,000 doses of the combination treatment throughout the rest of the year.
"To be able to quickly provide treatment to patients around the world, Lilly invested in large-scale manufacturing of both antibodies at risk - even before data demonstrated their potential to become a meaningful therapeutic option for COVID-19," the company said.
The company's chief executive officer David Ricks said it had yet to price the treatment. He assured the public it will charge a "very low-cost," or possibly "no cost" in certain situations.
Eli Lilly's treatment belongs to a category of viral treatments called monoclonal antibodies. They block the virus from entering cells - effectively neutralizing its ability to cause harm. The treatment was synthesized using blood samples taken from the first patients infected by the disease in the U.S.