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Elan Corporation, plc Message Board

  • canyontreefrog canyontreefrog Feb 1, 2005 5:49 PM Flag

    OT: Serono Execs Confident Rebif

    =DJ Serono Execs Confident Rebif To Lead MS Market In 2006

    Dow Jones News Services
    (Copyright � 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

    By Paula L. Stepankowsky

    LONGVIEW, Wash. (Dow Jones)--Despite growing competition in the market to treat multiple sclerosis, executives from Swiss biotech company Serono SA (SRA) feel confident their drug, Rebif, will lead the world-wide market in 2006.

    In an interview after the company released fourth-quarter earnings late Tuesday, executives said Rebif already leads the market outside the U.S. and is taking market share inside the U.S.

    "Given Rebif's ability to delay disability, we feel the product should not change its position as first choice," Chief Executive Ernesto Bertarelli said in the interview.

    In 2004, Rebif sales increased by 32.9%, the Geneva company said, with Rebif sales in the U.S. alone increasing by 56.8%.

    Rebif, however, faces competition from an older drug, Avonex, made by Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB), as well as from a new drug, Tysabri, co-developed by Biogen and Elan PLC (ELN) of Ireland. The Food and Drug Administration approved Tysabri for sale in November. Rebif also competes with Copaxone from Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) and Germany-based Schering AG's (SHR) Betaseron.

    Bertarelli said Tysabri has shown efficacy for two of three parameters for MS. The third parameter, disability, is where Rebif is strongest, he said. As a result, Serono believes Tysabri may be positioned to be a third or fourth line of treatment after patients have tried other drugs first.

    Data showing a final analysis of Tysabri won't be available until some time later in the first half of the year, Bertarelli said.

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    • Serono will keep up the bombast b/s until published numbers prove the statements wrong.
      They can have their "forward-looking statements" until known facts prevent them. Serono is playing the time gap for all it's worth. While I can't blame them for putting on a pretty face as long as they can, many of their shots at Tysabri are below the belt.

      When the Ty numbers crush Rebif, it could not happen to a more deserving company.


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