Pfizer stock drops 2% as positive rare-disease drug results won’t stop competitors

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Pfizer Inc.’s rare-disease drug tafamidis may very well be a blockbuster product. But latest positive results for the product have actually solely lifted Pfizer’s rivals.

The knowledge left loads of openings for competitors, most Wall Street analysts agreed, and Pfizer averted drawing comparisons when discussing the results on a Monday convention name.

Though shares

PFE, -2.16%

  initially gained premarket, they dropped 2.5% in average morning commerce. Rival Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s

ALNY, +20.48%

 stock surged 18.7% on Monday, whereas Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

IONS, +8.76%

 rose 7.1% and Akcea Therapeutics Inc.

AKCA, +1.93%

  gained 2.5%.

Tafamidis’ results “are outstanding, and the drug should own the [transthyretin] cardiac space near term,” mentioned Stifel analyst Paul Matteis. “But they also leave some room for improvement from TTR knockdown drugs, which we still think have a reasonable shot at being best-in-class over the long term.”

Tafamidis is being developed for the uncommon illness transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy, which may be hereditary or attributable to age.

The situation is known as after the protein transthyretin, which may come aside and result in amyloid deposits within the coronary heart, as effectively as the resultant impact on the center muscle, generally ending in coronary heart failure. The Pfizer drug was designed to stabilize transthyretin and stop the amyloid formations.

Related: How a failed Pfizer rare-disease drug came back to flatten its rivals

More than 400 sufferers have been enrolled within the part three medical trial, which befell over the course of 30 months. The remedy was discovered to reduce risk of death by 30%, a major discovering, and cut back the speed of cardiovascular-related hospitalization by 32%.

Heading into the Monday launch, business watchers already knew the results have been positive. Pfizer introduced in April that the trial had statistically vital findings on the 2 measures, although it didn’t launch specifics on the time.

The newest results, thus, mattered extra when it comes to assessing the aggressive discipline, Stifel’s Matteis mentioned.

Alnylam’s Onpattro was accepted by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month for hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) with polyneuropathy, and the corporate is finding out the remedy — additionally known as patisiran — in the identical situation with cardiomyopathy. Ionis and Akcea’s inotersen remedy can also be being developed for sufferers with ATTR cardiomyopathy. Eidos Therapeutics

EIDX, -29.66%

 , one other firm growing medicine for the illness, had shares drop 31.three% in extraordinarily lively commerce.

Related: Alnylam rare drug gets FDA approval, to cost $345,000 on average

Yet “what stood out to us was that the Tafamidis data — while justifying broad use today in cardiac patients — do suggest a slower onset-of-action” in contrast with Alnylam’s product, Matteis mentioned. Tafamidis results have been much less spectacular at 18 months of remedy than at 30 months, Matteis added.

Analysts requested on a Monday convention name about how Pfizer’s product may compete with others and Pfizer executives largely demurred.

Tafamidis will “certainly be the first product approved for the patient population that we’ve studied here,” mentioned Charles Triano, senior vp of investor relations. “So I certainly won’t speak for competitors and their data but, I think, it is likely that our data set will set a very high bar for others to be able to demonstrate their effectiveness in this patient population.”

Asked if the remedy is likely to be mixed with competitors, Pfizer’s Brenda Cooperstone, chief improvement officer, uncommon illness, mentioned that it was the one product that has been examined particularly in sufferers with cardiomyopathy, “so it’s difficult to comment on any of our competitors.”

Though most centered on the drug’s taking part in discipline, one analyst, EvercoreISI’s Umer Raffat, mentioned that tafamidis may effectively work higher than marketed. The discount in mortality danger appeared to enhance over time, he mentioned, so “if the follow up was longer, mortality benefit would have been greater.”

Pfizer’s expectations of over a billion in gross sales for the product additionally appear real looking, he mentioned, describing tafamidis as “a bright spot in the pipeline.”

Patients with the illness aren’t at all times recognized as a result of remedies haven’t but been obtainable, Pfizer has mentioned, including that it plans to put money into academic and gross sales efforts.

Pfizer shares have surged 15.9% during the last three months, in contrast with a virtually 15% rise in Alnylam shares. The S&P 500

SPX, +0.70%

 has risen 6.four% over the identical time interval and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.85%

 has risen 5.1%.



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