) recently released positive initial results from a phase III
The positive results from the SAPPHIRE study led to a 2.2%
rise in the shares. However, much of that gain was mitigated and
shares were up 0.89% at the end of the trading session.
The study is being conducted to evaluate AbbVie's
investigational three direct-acting-antiviral (3D) regimen plus
ribavirin in patients suffering from genotype 1 (GT1) hepatitis C
The patients were dosed ABT-333 (250mg) and ribavirin
(weight-based) twice daily along with a single daily fixed-dose
combination of ABT-450/ritonavir (150/100mg) co-formulated with
It was observed from the randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled SAPPHIRE- I study (n=631) that 96% of
treatment naïve patients achieved a sustained virologic response
after 12 weeks of treatment. In addition, only 1.7% of patients
suffered a virologic relapse.
We note that SAPPHIRE-I is the first of six phase III trials
being conducted to evaluate the efficacy of 3D regimen in GT1 HCV
The company remains on track for major regulatory submissions
in the second quarter of 2014.
We are encouraged by the pipeline progress at AbbVie. The
company's late-stage pipeline looks impressive with several
compounds or indications in phase III development targeting
therapeutic areas like HCV, immunology, multiple sclerosis and
AbbVie currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we are
positive on AbbVie's strong late-stage pipeline, dividend yield
and growth strategy, we remain concerned about its dependence on
Companies that currently look attractive include
Johnson & Johnson
). While Shire is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, Johnson
& Johnson and Bayer are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.
ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report
BAYER A G -ADR (BAYRY): Free Stock Analysis
JOHNSON & JOHNS (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis
SHIRE PLC-ADR (SHPG): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.