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Biotech Stock Roundup: Celgene, Amgen, Gilead Impress in Q2, Other Pipeline Updates

Zacks Equity Research

Earnings took the center stage for the biotech sector this week, with quite a few bigwigs like Gilead Sciences GILD, Amgen AMGN and Celgene CELG reporting second-quarter results.  Apart from these, regular pipeline updates and data readouts were the key highlights.

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories:

Alexion, Gilead, Celgene, Amgen Impress in Q2: Alexion topped earnings and sales estimates in the second quarter and raised its annual guidance. Gilead Sciences reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter of 2019 on strong sales of Biktarvy and lifted its sales guidance for 2019 on favorable sales trends.

Strong Revlimid and Otezla sales benefited Celgene Corporation’s second-quarter results. The company also raised its revenue guidance for the year.

Amgen too beat on earnings and sales in the second quarter. However, sales declined year over year as increasing demand for newer products like Prolia was offset by the erosion of mature brands from biosimilar competition.

Gilead currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Alexion Gets Positive CHMP Opinion for Label Expansion of Soliris: Alexion announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion to expand the label of Soliris (eculizumab) to include the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) in adult patients, who are anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody-positive with a relapsing course of the disease. The European Commission will review the CHMP opinion and the final decision is anticipated within two months.

Lexicon Plunges After Being Dumped by Partner Sanofi: Shares of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals LXRX plunged after it received a termination of alliance notice from French partner Sanofi, Inc. Both the companies had collaborated to develop Zynquista for the treatment of diabetes. Lexicon has notified Sanofi that it considers the notice invalid and Sanofi to be in breach of contract.

Additionally, the company received preliminary top-line results from Sanofi for three phase III trials of Zynquista in adults living with type 2 diabetes in the InSynchrony clinical program. The company did not receive the underlying data but expects to conduct its own review, validation and statistical analysis of the same on receipt.

Bristol-Myers Gets EC Nod for Celgene Acquisition: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY announced that the EC has granted unconditional approval to its impending acquisition of Celgene. The company needs to sell one of Celgene’s blockbuster drugs, Otezla, to complete the impending merger on a timely basis in light of concerns expressed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The divestiture would be conditioned upon the closing of the pending transaction between the companies.

Alkermes Settles Dispute, Announces Positive Top-Line Results: Alkermes plc ALKS entered a settlement and license agreement with Amneal Pharmaceuticals to resolve the latter's inter partes review (IPR) petition challenging the U.S. Patent Number 7,919,499 ('499 Patent) for Vivitrol (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) that expires in 2029.

The company also announced positive top-line results from EVOLVE-MS-2, a large, randomized, double-blind, five-week, phase III study of diroximel fumarate in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) compared to Tecfidera. Diroximel fumarate is an investigational, novel oral fumarate with a distinct chemical structure. The candidate showed statistically superior gastrointestinal (GI) tolerability on primary endpoint assessing self-reported GI events.

Performance

Medical - Biomedical and Genetics Industry 5YR % Return

Medical - Biomedical and Genetics Industry 5YR % Return

Medical - Biomedical and Genetics Industry 5YR % Return

The Nasdaq Biotechnology index gained 0.80% in the last five trading sessions. Among the biotech giants, Celgene gained 3.01% in the period. Over the past six months, shares of Celgene have gained 5.68%, whereas the Biogen stock has declined 28.68%. (See the last biotech stock roundup here: Biotech Stock Roundup: Galapagos & Hookipa Surge, AMGN Shelves Alzheimer's Study)

What's Next in Biotech?

Stay tuned for earnings updates and other pipeline news.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alkermes plc (ALKS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Celgene Corporation (CELG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (LXRX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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