Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is updating its clinical trial activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company says it will delay the start of most new studies and pause enrollment in most ongoing studies, however it will continue ongoing clinical trials for patients who are already enrolled.
Lilly says the pandemic has “substantially impacted” the global healthcare industry’s ability to conduct clinical trials as many healthcare systems have had to restructure their operations to prioritize care for COVID-19 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,” Tim Garnett, chief medical officer for Lilly, said in a news release. “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. 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 combating COVID-19.”
Garnett says Lilly will maintain the ongoing studies, but with “study-by-study consideration.”
The company says participants currently enrolled in Lilly clinical trials should continue following study protocols. Any participants who have concerns are encouraged to contact their physician.
Lilly this week began drive-through testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 for healthcare workers, an effort that was expanded to also benefit first responders in Indianapolis.
Lilly says it does not anticipate a change to its 2020 financial guidance as a result of COVID-19 and it continues to take necessary steps to maintain the supply of all of its medicines.