Celgene Corporation (CELG) recently presented data on its cancer drug, Revlimid (as a combination therapy) in patients suffering from various forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Celgene presented data from two studies at the international conference on malignant lymphoma held in Switzerland.
One of the studies evaluated Revlimid in combination with the RCHOP regimen as a first-line therapy in patients suffering from diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (:DLBCL) or follicular lymphoma (grade 3b). We note that the RCHOP regimen includes Roche/Biogen Idec Inc.’s (RHHBY/BIIB) Rituxan (rituximab).
Data from the study revealed an overall response rate of 98% (74% patients achieved a complete response). The rate of progression free survival witnessed in these patients was 66% at 18 months. Data also revealed a progression free survival rate of 57% at 18 months for patients in the R-CHOP group. Data also revealed a progression-free survival rate of 73% (at 18 months) in patients without the germinal center b-cell version of DLBCL. The comparable figure was 55% in patients with the germinal center b-cell sub-type of the disease.
The other study is evaluating the combination of Revlimid and Rituxan as a first-line therapy in patients with follicular lymphoma. Data revealed that 92.6% patients treated with the combination achieved an overall response rate of 92.6% and 72.2% achieved a complete response. Successful development and commercialization of Revlimid for treating various forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma would further boost the sales potential of Celgene’s key growth driver.
We note that Revlimid is already approved for the myelodysplastic syndromes (:MDS) indication in many countries. The drug is also approved in many countries across the globe in combination with dexamethasone for treating multiple myeloma patients, who have been treated at least once for the disease. We note that Revlimid was approved in the EU for the MDS indication earlier in the month.
Celgene, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY) appears to be more attractive in the biopharma space with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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