Celgene Corporation (CELG) boasts of an interesting and diversified pipeline. Multiple pipeline-related news are expected in the coming quarters. Celgene is highly optimistic on the potential of apremilast, which is being developed for multiple indications such as moderate-to-severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis among others.
Celgene is seeking U.S. approval for apremilast in the psoriatic arthritis indication. Approval has also been sought for the same indication in Canada. Celgene is also evaluating apremilast in patients suffering from moderate-to-severe psoriasis. U.S. approval for the moderate-to-severe psoriasis indication is expected to be sought by Dec 31, 2013. Moreover, Celgene intends to seek EU approval for apremilast in the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis indications by year end.
Results of pre-specified sub-analyses from the phase III (ESTEEM 1) study revealed significant improvement in apremilast treated patients suffering from nail and scalp psoriasis at 16 weeks. Results further revealed that the patients continued to show improvements through 32 weeks. Moreover, apremilast treatment caused significant improvements in health-related quality-of-life parameters in plaque psoriasis patients. The improvements witnessed at week 16 were maintained through week 32.
Apremilast is also undergoing phase III studies in the ankylosing spondylitis indication. The candidate is also being evaluated for treating patients suffering from Behçet’s disease (encouraging results from a phase II study were presented in Jun 2013). Celgene is also advancing the development of the early-stage candidates in its pipeline. We believe that the successful development and commercialization of the pipeline would boost Celgene’s top line further.
Celgene, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Athersys, Inc. (ATHX) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) appear to be well placed in the biopharma space. Actelion carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Alexion and Athersys are Zacks #2 Ranked (Buy) stocks.
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