The key growth driver at
) is Revlimid. The drug, already available for multiple oncology
indications, recorded sales of $1.2 billion in the second quarter
of 2014, up 15% over the year-ago period. The drug did well both in
the U.S. (up 15%) and international markets (up 17%). Revlimid is
expected to register sales of $4.95 billion in 2014.
Earlier this week Celgene announced that data from a phase II study
(n=64) on Revlimid (as a combination therapy) was published in the
Journal of Clinical Oncology. The open-label, single-arm study
evaluated Revlimid in combination with Roche/Biogen Idec's (
) Rituxan (rituximab) in addition to cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin
hydrochloride, vincristine sulfate and prednisone (conventional
R-CHOP) as a first-line therapy in patients suffering from diffuse
large b-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The combination of Revlimid and
standard R-CHOP is known as R2CHOP. The study evaluated the
efficacy of R2CHOP in the first-line DLBCL indication.
Data from the study revealed that 98% of the patients eligible for
response evaluation achieved overall response while 80% attained
complete response. Moreover, the rates of progression free survival
and overall survival were found to be similar across the various
sub types of DLBCL (germinal center B-cell (GCB) and non-GCB) by
adding Revlimid to R-CHOP.
According to the abstract, treatment with R2CHOP appears to ease
the negative impact of non-GCB phenotype on patient outcome.
Revlimid is also being studied as maintenance therapy in a phase
III study (REMARC) for the DLBCL indication.
We believe investor focus will remain on Celgene's efforts to get
the label of the drug expanded into the newly diagnosed multiple
myeloma (NDMM) indication. The biopharmaceutical major has filed
regulatory applications in the U.S. and EU for the NDMM indication.
The FDA target date is Feb 22, 2015. Successful label expansion
would boost the drug's sales potential further.
Celgene carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A better-ranked stock in the
biopharma space is Gilead Sciences (
), sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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