) announced that encouraging data from a phase III study (MPACT:
n=861) on its oncology drug Abraxane was published at the New
England Journal of Medicine. The study evaluated the combination
of Abraxane and
Eli Lilly and Company
) Gemzar as a first-line therapy in patients suffering from
metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
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We remind investors that encouraging data from the MPACT study
formed the basis of the U.S. approval of Abraxane in the
pancreatic cancer indication. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) approved Abraxane for the above indication
in Sep 2013. The FDA clearance marks the first approval of a drug
for the metastatic pancreatic cancer indication in nearly eight
We note that Abraxane in combination with Gemzar is also under
review in the EU for the advanced pancreatic cancer indication.
Abraxane is also under review in many other countries for the
We note that this is the third indication for which Abraxane has
been approved. Abraxane is already available as a second-line
therapy for metastatic breast cancer. Last year, the drug was
cleared by the FDA as a first-line combination therapy for
treating patients suffering from locally advanced or metastatic
non-small cell lung cancer. The FDA approval for the advanced
pancreatic cancer indication has boosted the drug's sales
Celgene, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). Biopharma stocks like
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) appear to be more attractive. Actelion carries a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy) while Alexion is a Zacks #2 Ranked (Buy) stock.