) recently announced promising data from the phase IIb Aviator
trial evaluating the combination of ABT-450/r, ABT-267, ABT-333 and
ribavirin for the treatment of patients suffering from hepatitis C
(HCV). ABT-450/r (protease), ABT-267 (polymerase) and ABT-333
(NS5A) are also being evaluated in other clinical studies.
The combination regimen demonstrated impressive sustained
virological response in genotype 1 (GT1) HCV patients at 12 weeks
post treatment in treatment-naïve (99%) and null responders (93%).
Investors have reacted positively with the share price up 4% on the
We note that a few companies have suffered hepatitis C related
pipeline setback in the last few months. In August 2012,
Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) received a verbal notice from the FDA placing a partial clinical
hold on its HCV candidate, IDX184.
Apart from Idenix,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
) suffered a pipeline setback in August 2012, when it announced the
discontinuation of the development of its HCV candidate, BMS-986094
(formerly known as INX-189) due to a safety issue.
Abbott to Report Third Quarter Results
Abbott Labs is set to release its third quarter 2012 results on
October 17, 2012 before the opening bell. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate for the third quarter is $1.28, representing a
year-over-year increase of 8.5%. Abbott Labs has surpassed earnings
estimates consistently in the last four quarters with a trailing
four-quarter average of 1.34%. Third quarter 2012 earnings could
exceed expectations by 0.78%.
Estimate revisions for Abbott Labs have been scarce over the past
month. Over the past 30 days, 4 of the 14 analysts providing
estimates for Abbott Labs have increased their earnings estimates
for the third quarter of 2012.
The annual estimates for 2012 have not been revised by the majority
of the analysts providing the same. Only 5 of the 19 analysts
providing estimates for Abbott Labs have revised their estimates
for 2012. All 5 analysts revised their estimates upward.
In the last 7 days, 3 analysts have revised their third quarter and
4 analysts have revised their full year 2012 estimate upwards.
We believe that although concerns like the impact of the US health
care reform, foreign exchange headwinds, EU pricing austerity and
generic competition will continue to hurt Abbott Labs, its
pharmaceutical products should continue to drive growth led by key
drug Humira, an anti-inflammatory product.
Humira is quickly becoming the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
drug of choice, gaining sizable market share despite the presence
) Enbrel and
Johnson & Johnson's
) Remicade. Growing awareness, favorable clinical data, additional
indications and expansion into new markets like China and Japan
should help the product to continue contributing significantly to
its top line.
Neutral on Abbott Labs
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Abbott Labs, which
carries a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating). Abbott Labs
remains on track to split into two separate publicly traded
companies by the end of 2012. One company will deal in diversified
medical products, while the other will focus on research-based
pharmaceuticals. We are positive on the split, which should allow
the two separate entities to perform in a more focused manner.
ABBOTT LABS (ABT): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMGEN INC (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BRISTOL-MYERS (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
IDENIX PHARMA (IDIX): Free Stock Analysis
JOHNSON & JOHNS (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
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