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Gilead's stock falls on remdesivir, Eli Lilly begins human study of possible COVID-19 treatment

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Eli Lilly announced the company has started an early-stage trial to test its potential treatment for coronavirus. Yahoo Finance’s Anjalee Khemlani breaks down the latest developments.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, we're watching shares of Eli Lilly and Company trading down right now. But there was the news this morning that they're moving into human trials of what could be the first antibody treatment against COVID-19. Anjalee Khemlani has more about what this truly means and where we stand in their tests. Anjalee?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Thank you, Adam. Yeah, so as we heard, this is an agreement between Eli Lilly and AbCellera, which is based in Vancouver. And they've been working on this approach since-- for about a couple of months. And it basically uses machine learning to identify and understand antibodies, and be able to develop that into a drug.

And it's important to note that there are other companies also looking at antibody therapies. We know of the number of hospital-based trials as well, where plasma is directly being used as well. So this falls along those lines. It is very important. And it's a very different approach compared to the antivirals and other sort of treatment options that we're seeing out there-- which, by the way, of note, Eli Lilly is also pursuing one of its other drugs as a treatment.

Meanwhile, we also have remdesivir, the antiviral drug that has been noted and touted as one of the first to prove any sort of function in treating the coronavirus. And that one by Gilead Sciences. They released the study results for their phase three trial, which we already knew a little bit about last month, which was where we had a note of it being sort of moderate results in sort of improving by a couple days the release of some hospitalized patients. Adam?

ADAM SHAPIRO: OK, Anjalee Khemlani, thank you very much. Just want to point out, too, that Gilead shares are trading down on that news.