Material Handling & Conveyor,
Process Systems & Equipment,
Stainless Steel Fabrication, Installation

Contact us now: 1-914-631-3800

One COVID-19 opportunity for pharma? A chance to bolster its reputation, Lilly CEO says

One COVID-19 opportunity for pharma? A chance to bolster its reputation, Lilly CEO says


Pharma companies are a popular target for politicians, activists and critics in general. But with the world in dire need of COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, the industry has a rare chance to bolster its image, Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks said Thursday.

Speaking on the company’s first-quarter conference call, Ricks said the biopharmaceutical industry has a “once in a generation opportunity to reset” its reputation.

As the pandemic has swept around the globe, countless companies have entered the race for COVID-19 drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. And it’s not just about commercial opportunities, he told analysts.

“It’s really about solving the problem,” Ricks said.

Over time, the industry can think about “curbing abusive behaviors”—such as over patenting—that result in less competition, Ricks said. But for now, the CEO said he’s focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Thursday, health officials have tracked more than 2.5 million COVID-19 infections and 180,000 deaths. 

Like many other biopharma companies, Lilly has jumped into COVID-19 drug research and testing. The company is working on potential antibodies with AbCellera and testing its immunology med Olumiant in patients who’ve been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, to beef up diagnostic testing, the company set up a drive-through facility in Indianapolis and allowed some of its experts in the city to help with testing efforts.   

Ricks’ statements came as Lilly reported first-quarter sales of $5.86 billion, a 15% increase from the same period last year. The company benefited from $250 million in increased purchasing during the quarter as patients moved to secure supplies of their medicines ahead of lockdowns.  

Throughout the rest of the year, as purchasing slows, the company expects that $250 million benefit to reverse itself. The company is also tracking a reduction in new prescription starts that it expects to peak in the second quarter. Many people have stopped going to doctors in recent weeks, so their doctors haven’t been diagnosing diseases and prescribing new drugs.

Lilly is also following its “payer mix” for a potential shift from patients in commercial insurance to government plans, where prices are lower. As tens of millions of Americans lose their jobs and apply for Medicaid, for example, the company could net lower revenues for its products.

In issuing its guidance for the rest of the year, the company assumes healthcare activity will return to “more normal levels” in the second half, CFO Josh Smiley said on the call. The company reiterated much of its prior 2020 guidance, but slightly adjusted its expected earnings per share.

Lilly expects lower spending on travel and face-to-face interactions will be offset by higher spending on digital communications. The company is shelling out more cash on “extraordinary measures” to keep plants running, but higher yields at those plants should make up the difference, Smiley said.

Further, the company is expecting lower R&D costs from fewer trial starts and paused enrollment in ongoing studies to be offset by its COVID-19 development work.



Similar Articles

Happy New Year From Westc... Happy New Year! We at Westco want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! 2020 was a difficult year for many so here’s to 2021! Give us
Avista Doubles API Manufa... Avista Pharma Solutions, Inc. has completed facility upgrades that effectively double the company’s API manufacturing capacity at its Longmont, Colorado site. During the expansion, the site’s three existing GMP
Lee Industries Resource C... Lee Industries is a long time vendor of Westco’s and are a great source for information on various processing insights.  Lee Industries: Expanding Your Operation What to
Batch to the future: Amid... Titers are up and single-use is widespread, but commercial drugmakers will continue to use stainless steel bioreactors for unmet medical needs, GE’s Parrish Galliher told BPI West
Top Line To Be At ISPE 20... One of our trusted vendors, Top Line Process Equipment Company, will be at the ISPE 2018 Vendor show in Colorado. Date: February 15, 2018 Time: 3:00 PM
Advanced Remote Operated ... Advanced Remote Operated Vehicle For Pressurized Water, Wastewater, and Industrial Pipeline Monitoring Aquam Corporation have announced the launch of Amplus, the most advanced remote operated vehicle (ROV)
One COVID-19 opportunity ... One COVID-19 opportunity for pharma? A chance to bolster its reputation, Lilly CEO says   Pharma companies are a popular target for politicians, activists and critics in
Westco’s Push To Pharma Westco’s Push To Pharma With Long Island offering so many incentives for the pharmaceutical and bio-tech industries, it’s no wonder more companies keep planting down roots there.
Global Small Molecule CMO... Global Small Molecule CMO Market 2019: Analysis On Size Lonza Group, Wuxi AppTec, Catalent, and Patheon Dominating Small molecule drugs are organic compounds with defined chemical structures
EPA Recognizes 41 ABA Mem... EPA Recognizes 41 ABA Member Baking Facilities as 2018 ENERGY STAR Certified Manufacturing Plants American Bakers Association member facilities represent 41 of the 100 manufacturing plants recognized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *