) recently announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved
Zinforo (ceftaroline fosamil) for treating adults with complicated
skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTI) or community acquired
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The European approval did not come as a surprise as Zinforo had
earlier received a positive opinion from the Committee for
Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines
Agency (EMA). Approval was based on encouraging data from four
phase III trials - CANVAS 1 and 2 (cSSTI) and FOCUS 1 and 2 (CAP).
While we are pleased with the European approval of Zinforo, we note
that the market is highly competitive given the presence of players
) Cubicin and
We note that in 2009,
) had out-licensed co-exclusive development and exclusive
commercial rights to Zinforo in all territories except the US,
Canada and Japan. In March 2011, Forest Labs launched ceftaroline
fosamil under the trade name Teflaro in the US. The company
reported Teflaro sales of $9.4 million for the three months ending
June 30, 2012.
Neutral on AstraZeneca
We are encouraged by AstraZeneca's focus on high-potential emerging
markets and are pleased with its effort to drive the bottom line
through cost-cutting initiatives and share buybacks.
However, we remain concerned about the generic competition faced by
the company's key products. In 2011, the company lost revenues
worth almost $2 billion to generic competition. The weak late-stage
pipeline coupled with slow Brilinta uptake also bothers us.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on AstraZeneca. The
stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.