Tue, Mar. 24, 7:14 AM
- Stifel Analyst Thomas Shrader downgrades Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) from Buy to Hold based on valuation. He agrees that the company is in driver's seat in neurological drug development, but notes that definitive data on BIIB037 is years away, as are revenues, while its safety could be an issue.
- Another significant risk is the Tecfidera patent fight with Forward Pharma, far from a certain win.
- His revenue model suggests the stock is worth $466 compared to yesterday's close of $463.73.
Mon, Mar. 23, 7:30 AM
- With a shortened name and new logo, Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) is entering a high risk-high return phase of its corporate life. CEO George Scangos, on board since 2010, is leading the firm into several difficult-to-treat areas in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's (AD), ALS and spinal muscular dystrophy. It won't take but one or two successes for the payoff to be huge.
- Shares jumped on Friday after the company announced positive Phase 1b results for its Alzheimer's candidate, BIIB037 (aducanumab). If the Phase 3, due to start later this year, is successful it could be the largest selling drug in history. As many as 75M people could be living with AD by 2030.
- Mr. Scangos says, "The future looks pretty exciting for us. If the Alzheimer's thing works, then we're not just an MS (multiple sclerosis) company. We are broadly focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Five years down the road, with some luck, we'll have an Alzheimer's drug that's getting approved. I hope we can transform the treatment of MS. By that time, we will have made substantial progress on ALS and nerve degenerative diseases, spinal muscular dystrophy in kids. All that stuff is on our plate. I am sure of two things, not all it is going to work, but some of it will."
- The company is also working on biosimilars to Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) Enbrel (etanercept) and J&J's (NYSE:JNJ) Remicade (infliximab).
Fri, Mar. 20, 10:37 AM
- Biogen Idec (BIIB +6.3%) jumps of double normal volume in response to its announcement of positive interim results of a Phase 1b study evaluating BIIB037 (aducanumab) for the treatment of patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD). Treatment with aducanumab produced a dose- and time-dependent reduction of amyloid plaque in the brain, the buildup of which is believed to play a key role in the development of AD symptoms.
- The interim analysis involved 166 patients up to Week 54 in four dosage cohorts: placebo, 1 mg/kg, 3 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg. A fifth arm, 6 mg/kg, involved 30-week data. The placebo arm was virtually unchanged at 26 and 54 weeks but there were statistically significant reductions in amyloid plaques in all dosage arms except 1 mg/kg at 26 weeks. At Week 54, greater reductions were observed in the 3 and 10 mg/kg arms (data from the 6 mg/kg arm was not available yet).
- Biogen group SVP and Chief Medical Officer Alfred Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., says, "This is the first time an investigational drug for [AD] has demonstrated a statistically significant reduction on amyloid plaque as well as a statistically significant slowing of clinical impairment in patients with prodromal or mild disease. Based on these results, we are advancing the aducanumab clinical program to Phase 3 with plans to initiate enrollment later this year."
- An estimated 25M people live with AD worldwide. Drug candidates that target amyloid plaque have not been successful in clinical studies to date.
Fri, Mar. 20, 9:23 AM
Fri, Mar. 6, 9:28 AM
- Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS) earns a $9M milestone payment from Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) for advancing the ongoing Phase 3 trial evaluating ISIS-SMNrx for the treatment of infants with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
- The study is a randomized, double-blind, sham-procedure-controlled 13-month trial in ~110 infants diagnosed with SMA. The primary endpoint is survival or time to permanent ventilation.
Fri, Feb. 27, 9:59 AM
- Biogen Idec (BIIB -0.5%) and collaboration partner Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB announce positive top-line results from a Phase 3 trial evaluating Alprolix (Coagulation Factor IX [Recombinant], Fc Fusion Protein) in children under age 12 with severe hemophilia B.
- Medical professionals recommend prophylactic treatment in children with severe hemophilia in order to manage and/or prevent bleeding episodes, but frequent administration schedules can be burdensome for patients and caregivers. Alprolix is administered once every 7 - 10 days for routine prophylaxis (prevention).
- In the study, children treated with Alprolix experienced an overall median annualized bleeding rate (ABR) of 1.97, while the median ABR for spontaneous joint bleeds was zero. About one third of the participants had no bleeding episodes at all. Overall, 91.7% of bleeding episodes were controlled by one or two infusions of Alprolix. None of the patients produced inhibitors (antibodies) to Alprolix in the study, which was the most significant potential complication of treatment.
- The European Medicines Agency requires the inclusion of pediatric study data in the initial Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for a new hemophilia treatment. Interim data were used in the U.S. New Drug Application (NDA).
- Alprolix is the only approved hemophilia B therapy with prolonged circulation in the body. The FDA cleared it in March of last year. It generated $25.3M and $40.3M in sales for Biogen in Q3 and Q4, respectively.
- Related tickers: (BAX +0.3%)(OPK -0.8%)(SGMO -1.9%)(ALNY -1.9%)(ONCE +3%)(PFE -0.2%)(SHPG -1.6%)
Thu, Feb. 19, 10:10 AM
- Facing ever-increasing pushback from payers over the high price of new treatments, some biotech firms are working on a new payment model that rewards them for the long-term performance of their drugs. Gene therapy developers, including BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (BMRN +0.4%) and Sangamo BioSciences (SGMO -0.1%), are leading the effort.
- The industry says that a one-time cure, even if priced greater than $1M, saves money over the long term but acknowledges that payers will balk at paying the cost upfront. The general consensus is that an upfront payment over $1M will be unacceptable.
- Under a pay-for-performance scheme, the annuity-like payments would cease if medical testing showed that the therapy was not working. Much work remains to be done, though, before this approach could be implemented. For example, legislation may be required to force insurers to pick up the tab for patients that switch coverage.
- Some proponents of the new scheme say that the payment streams could be securitized and sold to investors, like consumer debt.
- Gene therapies represent the highest priced treatments. Only one has cleared the regulatory hurdle to date, UniQure's (QURE +1.5%) Glybera, which costs 850K euros ($1M) in Germany. It will be sold for a one-time payment because it is too difficult to measure how well it works (this reasoning will undoubtedly pop up again).
- Previously: UniQure sets price record with Glybera (Nov. 26, 2014)
- Related tickers: (CELG +1.3%)(AMGN -0.2%)(BIIB +0.5%)(GILD +0.1%)(MRK -0.3%)(GSK -0.2%)(AZN +0.9%)(LLY +0.3%)(NVS +0.1%)(PFE -0.5%)(JNJ -0.3%)(OTCQX:RHHBY +1.4%)(BMY -0.4%)(ABT)(BAX -1.1%)
Mon, Feb. 9, 12:21 PM
- The following are healthcare companies whose after-tax margins have expanded the past three quarters and trade at least 500K shares per day:
- (ACOR -0.7%)(BCR -1.5%)(BIIB -0.2%)(CAH -1.2%)(CPHD +1.3%)(EVHC -1.6%)(ILMN +0.7%)(JAZZ -1.7%)(LCI +7.3%)(MNK -0.5%)(SHPG -2.9%)(SYK -0.2%)(TMO -0.7%)(UTHR +1.4%)(VRX).
- This is not a list of "Buy" recommendations, but rather a targeted list of firms that may be suitable for more in-depth research.
Fri, Jan. 30, 12:31 PM
- Opko Health (OPK +3.5%) submits an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the FDA for clearance to commence a Phase 2a study evaluating its long-acting Orphan Drug-designated coagulation Factor VIIa (Factor VIIa-CTP) for the treatment of bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia A or B with inhibitors to Factor VII or Factor IX.
- Currently, Factor VIIa therapy is administered intravenously which requires multiple infusions, due to its short half-life, to treat a bleeding episode.
- The longer duration of action of Opko's Factor VIIa-CTP is based on the naturally occurring peptide, C-terminal peptide, of the beta chain of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
- Opko acquired the rights to the product when it bought Prolor Biotech.
- Previously: Opko completes its acquisition of Prolor Biotech (Aug. 29, 2013)
- Related tickers: (BAX +0.4%)(SGMO +0.6%)(ALNY +0.5%)(BIIB +11.4%)(OTCPK:BAYRY -1.4%)
Fri, Jan. 30, 9:12 AM
Thu, Jan. 29, 4:32 PM
Thu, Jan. 29, 4:30 PM
- Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) Q4 results ($M): Total Revenues: 2.640.7 (+34.3%); Net Product Sales: 2,287.0 (+42.3%); Joint Business: 304.5 (+13.0%); Royalty: 31.4 (-48.2%); Corporate Partner: 17.8 (-38.0%).
- Key Product Sales: Avonex: 736.0 (-2.1%); Tysabri: 483.9 (+13.4%); Tecfidera: 916.0 (+81.1%); Fampyra: 18.5 (+6.9%); Fumaderm: 14.4 (+2.1%); Plegridy: 41.1; Alprolix: 40.3; Eloctate: 36.8.
- COGS: 297.3 (+15.0%); R&D Expense: 500.1 (+18.5%); SG&A Expense: 573.6 (+9.7%); Net Income: 883.5 (+93.2%); EPS: 3.74 (+94.8%); Quick Assets: 1,845.4 (+50.9%).
- Gross Profit: 2,343.4 (+37.3%); COGS: 11.3% (-14.4%); Gross Margin: 88.7% (+2.2%); Non-GAAP Operating Earnings: 1,269.7 (+66.6%); Operating Earnings Yield: 48.1% (+24.0%); Net Earnings Yield: 33.5% (+43.8%).
- Net income growth the past four quarters: 12.5%, 47.4%, 75.7%, 93.2%.
- 2015 Guidance: Revenue growth: 14 - 16%; Non-GAAP EPS: $16.60 - 17.00; EPS: $15.45 - 15.85.
Wed, Jan. 28, 5:35 PM
- ABAX, ALGN, AMZN, AVNW, BCR, BIIB, BRCM, BXP, CB, COHR, CORT, CPHD, CPSI, CTCT, DECK, EFII, ELX, ELY, EMN, EPAY, FICO, GDOT, GIMO, GOOG, HA, HBI, HLIT, INVN, ISBC, IXYS, JDSU, LEG, MCHP, MITK, MTW, N, NATI, NEU, NFG, NGVC, PCCC, PFG, PFPT, PKI, PMCS, QLGC, RHI, RVBD, SFG, SWI, SYNA, TFSL, TUES, UIS, V, VR, WERN
Mon, Jan. 26, 5:57 PM
Wed, Jan. 14, 12:20 PM
- Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS -1.1%) earns a $7M milestone payment from Biogen Idec (BIIB -0.6%) related to the advancement of the ongoing open-label extension study of ISIS-SMNrx in children with spinal muscular atrophy.
- Patients in this stage have completed the dosing in previous trials. They are receiving a 12 mg dose of ISIS-SMNrx every six months for the duration of the study.
Wed, Jan. 14, 9:13 AM
- Express Scripts' (NASDAQ:ESRX) success in containing the prices of new HCV therapies by pitting Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) against AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is sending shock waves through the biotech/pharma industry. Most of the big players slumped yesterday as investors fear that ESRX's tactics will spread to other high cost areas like cancer and cholesterol.
- At JPM15 yesterday, CEO George Paz said that the new cholesterol-lowering post-statin PCSK9 inhibitors will be the next big opportunity to pit drug firms against each other in order to drive costs down. FDA clearance of the first two therapies, one from Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and the other from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) (NYSE:SNY), is expected to occur at about the same time.
- The prices of emerging cancer therapies will also be in payers' crosshairs. Amgen's Blincyto, for example, costs $178,000 per standard course of treatment while Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Keytruda is close behind at $150,000.
- Related tickers: (NYSE:AZN) (NYSE:GSK) (NYSE:LLY) (ABBV) (NYSE:PFE) (NASDAQ:BIIB) (NYSE:ABT) (NASDAQ:CELG) (NYSE:BMY) (OTCQX:RHHBY) (NYSE:JNJ) (NYSE:NVS) (OTCPK:BAYRY)
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