Tuesday, March 18, 2014
AbbVie (ABBV - $53.10) Chief executive Rick Gonzalez told analysts on the that management expects global Humira sales this year will continue growing at a (low) double-digit pace, excluding the impact of foreign exchange. The pursuit of additional indications currently in late stage clinical trials, such as (inflammation of the eye and the third leading-cause of blindness), is expected to augment growth too.
Humira – like Remicade – is a manufactured monoclonal antibody that treats autoimmune diseases by interfering with (blocking) tumor necrosis factor (TNF), an inflammatory protein over-expressed in a wide range of progressive inflammatory disorders that can result in permanent tissue and joint damage over time.
Pfizer's (PFE-$31.93) management stated during the last month that a move toward opioid analgesics and a promising anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) drug in its pipeline, a monoclonal antibody called tanezumab, could help to mitigate the impact Celebrex's loss of market exclusivity will have on sales going forward.
Looking to capitalize on the growing need for abuse-deterrent formulations, Pfizer is looking to entrench itself in the $5.1 billion market for extended-release (ER) opioid formulations prescribed by physicians to chronic pain sufferers (30% of the $18.1 billion in annual sales for all opioid-based therapies).
Chief executive Ian Read confirmed on the conference call that Embeda, an ER morphine/naltrexone formulation that was voluntarily benched in 2011, would be back on pharmacy shelves in second-quarter 2014 after the FDA approved both an updated manufacturing process and a – which is now required for all ER and long-acting opioid medications.
Read more at The Motley Fool: Pfizer Stubs Toe Without Celebrex
Though Zogenix (ZGNX-$3.55) is entering a chronic pain market with estimated annual sales worth an estimated $15.5 billion, the market is saturated with reformulations of well-established short and long-acting products that include generic and branded hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g. OxyContin), hydromorphone (e.g. Exalgo), morphine (e.g. Avinza), oxymorphone (e.g. Opana ER), and fentanyl (Duragesic transdermal patch).
Undaunted, chief executive officer Roger Hawley judiciously opines that Zohydro ER has the potential to fulfill an unmet clinical need: similar efficacy to a combination-entity hydrocone that contains the analgesic acetaminophen or ibuprofen, such as Vicoden or Vicoprofen – but without the risk of liver toxicity.
Continue reading at The Motley Fool: Zogenix Stockholders Facing World of Pain?