Eli Lilly and Company
) recently provided an update on its early-stage oncology
pipeline at the annual meeting of the American Association for
Cancer Research (AACR).
The company highlighted and presented pre-clinical data on
four molecules - LY2835219 (a CDK4/6 inhibitor), LY2875358 (a MET
antibody), LY2801653 (MET small molecule), and LY2157299 (a
TGF-beta inhibitor). All the candidates are being evaluated as a
single agent as well in combination with other therapies.
Although these candidates are early-stage in nature, we are
pleased with the company's efforts to expand its oncology product
pipeline. Eli Lilly's oncology product portfolio currently
consists of Alimta, Gemzar and Erbitux. The oncology product
portfolio delivered sales of $3.3 billion in 2012.
Eli Lilly has several candidates in phase III development
targeting therapeutic areas like diabetes, cancer, and
Alzheimer's disease. Notable pipeline agents include tabalumab
(phase III - lupus), edivoxetine (phase III; depression),
baricitinib (rheumatoid arthritis) and ramucirumab, a fully-human
monoclonal antibody that targets the vascular endothelial growth
factor (VEGF) receptor.
Ramucirumab is in phase III trials for breast, liver,
colorectal, and non-small cell lung cancer. Eli Lilly reported
positive phase III data on ramucirumab for second line
monotherapy in patients with metastatic gastric cancer and
intends to file for this indication in 2013. Meanwhile, Eli Lilly
moved its CETP inhibitor, evacetrapib, into phase III (ACCELERATE
study) for the treatment of high-risk vascular disease. The
successful development of these candidates could put Eli Lilly
back on the growth trajectory.
Eli Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The
biggest near-term challenge for Eli Lilly will be to replace the
revenues that will be lost to generic competition now that
Zyprexa has lost exclusivity in the US and EU. The generic threat
will continue to pose challenges for Eli Lilly with Cymbalta
slated to lose patent protection in late 2013 and Evista in
On the flip side, the Animal Health business and the diabetes
franchise should offer some downside support. We are also pleased
to see Eli Lilly pursuing small acquisitions and in-licensing
deals to boost its pipeline. Share buybacks and cost control
should help Eli Lilly achieve its 2013 guidance despite the
presence of generic competition for key products.
Companies that currently look well-positioned include
). While UCB and QLT Inc. are both Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)
stocks, Allergan is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.
ALLERGAN INC (AGN): Free Stock Analysis
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