The U.S. has paused Eli Lilly's COVID-19 antibody trial due to safety concerns. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani shares the details.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Yesterday we got the news about Johnson & Johnson reacting to the news that they had to pause their Phase III trial, but then there's the treatment side of all of this and news from Eli Lilly, which Anjalee Khemlani is going to bring us up to speed, at least with that and much more, Anjalee.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Thanks, Adam. Yes, so Eli Lilly didn't notify its trial sites yesterday that they were pausing out of an abundance of caution. That was based on the Independent Data Safety Monitoring Board noting that there were some issue, we're still not exactly clear on what the issue is, but we do know that there are still pausing and waiting to move ahead. Meanwhile, going back to Johnson & Johnson, obviously we know that that vaccine trial is still on hold right now. Waiting to hear more on that as well. Unclear when they may be able to resume on both parts, but one note on Eli Lilly, possibly by the end of the month being able to resume, but this also may affect their emergency use authorization. We know that antibodies are currently the hot topic. We saw after President Trump received Regeneron's cocktail antibody treatment, there has been a lot of momentum behind this, and Regeneron and Eli Lilly both applied for emergency use authorization. Meanwhile, also AstraZeneca announcing yesterday, nearly half a billion from the federal government in funding for their antibody treatment as well as distribution for free once it is in fact tested and approved.
JULIE HYMAN: Hey, Anjalee, the other big medical story that we're watching this morning has to do with UnitedHealth earnings, the giant health insurer, right? In terms of the flow of medical care, health care during the pandemic, how is that now affecting UnitedHealth and its numbers?
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Right, so we heard this morning on the investor call that they are definitely seeing a return to normal in terms of what the care needs are, the utilization of services. And so while it's not exactly at the level of pre-pandemic, we are seeing at this point that there is some return of it, and they expect as a result that trend to continue through the end of the year. It's important to note that they are pretty optimistic about the upcoming year. Medicare Advantage being a really big point that all the insurers across the board are really invested in, and that's, of course, because of the increasingly aging population in the country, lots of services and plans to cater to that, including as a result of the pandemic a lot of things like a virtual care and being able to remote monitor are things that insurers like UnitedHealth are also looking into. So going to be interesting to see sort of what changes come down the pike as a result of this, but it seems like the pandemic has really set the tone for some key changes for the insurers.