Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today provided an update on the company’s clinical trial activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will delay most new study starts and pause enrollment in most ongoing studies. Lilly is continuing ongoing clinical trials for patients who are already enrolled.
The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted the global healthcare delivery system, including the conduct of clinical trials. Many healthcare systems have had to restructure operations to prioritize caring for those suffering from COVID-19 and limit or cease other activities. The severe burden on healthcare systems caused by this pandemic has also impaired the ability of many research sites to start new studies or enroll new patients.
“Lilly is working hard to alleviate some of the pressure that the global COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our healthcare system. We have repurposed our laboratories to conduct diagnostic testing for patients and we are researching potential therapeutics. In the interest of helping to ensure patient safety and minimizing further stress on the system, Lilly has also decided to take several proactive steps in regard to our clinical trial activities around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tim Garnett, M.B.B.S., Lilly’s chief medical officer. “By delaying most new study starts and pausing enrollment of new patients or healthy volunteers in most ongoing studies, we hope to ease the burden on participating healthcare facilities and allow physicians to focus more of their efforts on combatting COVID-19.”
Garnett continued, “At the same time, Lilly recognizes that for patients already enrolled in clinical trials, discontinuation would disrupt their treatment and potentially diminish the societal value of the research information to which they are contributing. Therefore, we will maintain ongoing studies, but with study-by-study consideration.”
Study participants currently enrolled in Lilly clinical trials should continue following study protocols and are encouraged to speak with their physician if they have any concerns.
Financial and Operational Impact from COVID-19
At this time, Lilly does not anticipate a change to its 2020 financial guidance as a result of COVID-19. The company continues to take the steps necessary to maintain the supply of all of its medicines around the world. Lilly does not expect adjustments to the previously communicated timelines for ongoing late-stage studies, except for mirikizumab’s gastrointestinal (GI) indications. The company continues to monitor all aspects of its business closely in regard to COVID-19.