Lilly raises 2021 outlook on higher COVID-19 drugs sales

FILE PHOTO: An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured at 50 ImClone Drive in Branchburg, New Jersey, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

(Reuters) -Eli Lilly and Co raised its full-year profit and revenue forecasts on Tuesday, mainly due to higher sales of its COVID-19 antibody therapies, and the drugmaker said it has initiated a rolling submission for its experimental Alzheimer’s treatment.

Demand for Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody therapies, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, rose during the last three months as the spread of the Delta variant fueled a sharp rise in infections and hospitalizations in areas with low vaccination rates. The antibody treatments brought in $217 million in the third quarter, up from $149 million in the second quarter.

The U.S. government in September bought 388,000 additional doses of Lilly’s etesevimab, of which Lilly said it shipped about 250,000 doses in the three months ended Sept. 30.

The company said it now expected adjusted earnings per share between $$7.95 and $8.05 this year, up from its previous forecast of $7.80 to $8.00.

Excluding one-off items, Eli Lilly earned $1.94 per share, missing analyst estimates of $1.98 per share, on higher research and development expenses including for the COVID-19 drugs.

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