Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug Orencia (125 mg) performed well in
a phase IIIb study (AVERT: n= 351). The study evaluated Orencia in
combination with methotrexate (MTX) as a first-line therapy for
adults suffering from the chronic autoimmune disease.
Data from the active-controlled study revealed that at 12 months of
treatment, 60.9% patients in the Orencia plus MTX arm achieved
DAS-defined (DAS28 CRP <2.6) remission compared to only 45.2%
patients in the MTX arm. DAS28-CRP (C-reactive protein) is a
traditional measure of disease activity. Other more stringent
efficacy measures also revealed higher remission rates for adults
treated with the cocktail therapy.
In addition, data from the study revealed that even after the
withdrawal of all RA drugs, the benefits were maintained (for 6
months) in more patients in the combination arm than those treated
solely with MTX. Orencia was also found to be well tolerated in the
study. Bristol-Myers presented the data at the annual meeting of
the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).
Orencia, one of the older drugs at Bristol-Myers, is available both
in intravenous as well as subcutaneous forms. The drug performed
well in the first quarter of 2014, with sales climbing 13% year
over year to $363 million.
Besides Bristol-Myers, we note that the RA market includes players
Bristol-Myers carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). An example of a
better-ranked stock in the healthcare space is
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
BRISTOL-MYERS (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.