UCB's Neupro Hits US Market

Zacks

UCB (UCBJY) recently announced the launch of Neupro in the US for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (:PD) and restless legs syndrome (:RLS). The drug was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2012.

The US regulatory body approved Neupro after determining the drug’s efficacy, safety and tolerability. So far, more than 100,000 patients have been treated with Neupro worldwide. UCB mentioned that presently around one million Americans are afflicted by PD and believes that up to 23 million Americans could be affected by RLS.

Neupro is marketed in four and three different dosage strengths, respectively, for the signs and symptoms of PD and RLS.

On June 21, 2012, UCB had announced positive results from an observational study in routine clinical practice setting of Neupro. The data showed improvement in day- and night-time symptoms of RLS.

Earlier, the drug was approved in the European Union (EU) for the treatment of PD, with or without the combination of levodopa and also for moderate-to-severe RLS. Moreover, UCB has a co-promotion agreement with Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd for Neupro. The drug recorded sales of €27 million in the first quarter of 2012.

UCB’s primary revenue contributor is Keppra, followed by Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro. On the first quarter earnings call, UCB stated that it expects 2012 revenues to be driven by the continued strong performance of Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro.

Our Recommendation

Currently approved products for the treatment of PD and RLS include GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Requip. We currently have a Zacks #1 Rank (short-term Strong Buy rating) on UCB.

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