Eli Lilly Flips Pandemic Profits to Bolster Therapuetics Portfolio

Since the pandemic reared its ugly head earlier this year, the names Pfizer (PFE), BioNTech (BNTX), Moderna (MRNA), AstraZeneca (AZN) and more all became household names and the fixture of portfolios everywhere.

While it’s fair that since these names headlined much of the news around Operation Warp Speed, leading the nation’s race to develop an effective COVID-19, vaccine, there’s another corner of the growing “epicenter” sector that garners attention as well. We’re talking about therapeutics.

Growing in popularity back in October, after President Trump was given the coronavirus antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), therapeutics have been gaining steam in the industry.

In fact, just a month later, the FDA approved a similar antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for the coronavirus, from Gilead Sciences’ (GILD), followed by approval of Eli Lilly’s (LLY) antibody treatment Bamlanivimab, for emergency use.

Companies in the therapeutics market have been showing the same level of success in the market as the popular vaccine stocks, with companies like Eli Lilly seeing shares growing over 27% on the year. But this week, the company injected further hope into investors with a brand new deal to bolster its offering of gene therapy treatments.

Not only did the company increase its 2021 forecast, which includes revenue up to $28 billion for the year, with sales of COVID-19 treatments making up as much as $2 billion, it also announced a deal with a gene-therapy specialist, Prevail Therapeutics (PRVL).

Lilly said it would acquire Prevail, which develops gene therapies for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia, for $22.50 per share, a premium of 80% to the stock’s Monday close.

The news sparked shares of Prevail to jump nearly 92%, while Lilly’s stock has risen over 6% this week.

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