Encouraging Data on Pfizer Cholesterol Drug

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) announced encouraging results from a phase IIb study (n=354) on bococizumab (RN316) being developed for the treatment of adults suffering from high cholesterol and also taking statin therapy. The study randomized patients with either bococizumab (twice or once monthly subcutaneous administration) or placebo.

Results revealed that bococizumab showed significant reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) from baseline in comparison to placebo in statin treated adults with high cholesterol. The highest reductions in LDL-C were observed in 150 mg for the twice monthly regimen and 300 mg for the once monthly regimen of bococizumab.

We are encouraged by the positive results from the phase IIb study on bococizumab. The candidate is currently in a phase III program, initiated in Oct 2013. Pfizer’s phase III program on bococizumab includes two cardiovascular outcome studies and multiple lipid-lowering studies. Pfizer enrolled over 22,000 patients for the studies.

We believe successful development and subsequent commercialization of bococizumab will strengthen Pfizer’s cardiovascular portfolio. Meanwhile, companies like Amgen (AMGN) and Sanofi (SNY) are developing candidates for treating patients with high cholesterol.

Of late Pfizer has reported several encouraging results from its late stage candidates. Pfizer will be hit by a series of patent expiries including Aricept, Revatio and Viagra until 2015. Successful developments of these late stage candidates are hence important for the company to offset the loss.

Pfizer carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors looking for better-ranked stocks in the medical sector may consider companies like  Alkermes (ALKS), which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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