Eli Lilly & Co. gained as much as 3.3 percent after an analyst upgraded the stock, citing a likely increase in sales of a new diabetes treatment.
Surveys indicate that doctors are aware of the benefits of the drug, called Jardiance, and likely to increase prescriptions, according to the note by Vamil Divan, a Credit Suisse Group AG analyst in New York, who raised his rating on the stock to “outperform” from “neutral.” Lilly, based in Indianapolis, rose to $86.34 at 10:43 a.m. in New York.
Cleared for the U.S. market last year, Jardiance is a once-daily pill for people with type 2 diabetes. The drug works by preventing sugar from being absorbed by the kidney. A study released last month showed that Jardiance lowers the overall risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths in patients.
“The high degree of awareness of the results already (especially amongst specialists) should allow for this upside to come sooner than expected,” Divan said in the note, citing the results of the survey.
Divan also pointed to the strength of Lilly’s drugs in the middle and late stages of development for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and migraine headaches as reasons for upgrading the shares.