Pfizer Poised to Introduce Blockbuster Arthritis Pill

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(Article and list compiled by Alexander Crawford. Data sourced by Finviz.)

Final Phase III data is in for Pfizer’s (PFE) new rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pill, and it appears to be as effective as blockbuster Humira, with no sign of new safety concerns. Some analysts see the drug bringing in $2.6 billion a year or more for Pfizer, welcomed at a time when the company soon expects patent expiration of its $10.7 billion-a-year Lipitor.

Although the studies used Abbott Laboratories’ (ABT) Humira alongside Pfizer’s pill tofacitinib, they were not designed for a true head-to-head comparison. Pfizer pointed out similar efficacy for both treatments, as well as no new safety issues.

“Pfizer believes the risk-benefit profile supports regulatory submission for both the 5- and 10-milligram dose,” Victoria Davis, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, told Bloomberg. “We are looking forward to filing in the U.S., EU and Japan by the end of the year.”

The pill is designed to compete with injectable RA medicines, such as Humira, Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Remicade, and Amgen’s (AMGN) Enbrel (shared by Pfizer).

Analyst at Credit Suisse Catherine Arnold told Bloomberg, “the new drug may bring in more than $2.6 billion a year,” and even referred to the number as “likely conservative.” She also said Humira will reach peak sales of $8.5 billion in 2013 before sales decline as tofacitinib and other new drugs are accepted by doctors.

According to Bloomberg, three biotech companies are trying to catch up to Pfizer with similar RA treatments: Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL), Incyte Corp. (INCY), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX). Pfizer is the first to complete Phase III, however.

Do you think Pfizer will get FDA approval? Here we report interesting data on the stocks of companies mentioned above:

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1. Access a thorough description of all companies mentioned
2. Compare analyst ratings for all stocks mentioned below
3. Visualize annual returns for all stocks mentioned

1. Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Offers prescription medicines for humans and animals worldwide. Market cap of $146.84B. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 4.25%, current ratio at 1.98, and quick ratio at 1.7. The stock has gained 16.97% over the last year.

2. Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of health care products worldwide. Market cap of $80.07B. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 3.73%, current ratio at 1.52, and quick ratio at 1.3. The stock has gained 4.38% over the last year.

3. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of various products in the health care field worldwide. Market cap of $177.99B. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 3.51%, current ratio at 2.51, and quick ratio at 2.2. The stock has gained 12.45% over the last year.

4. Amgen Inc. (AMGN): Develops, manufactures, and markets human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology for grievous illnesses primarily in the United States, Europe, and Canada. Market cap of $51.11B. The stock has gained 2.83% over the last year.

5. Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (RIGL): Engages in the discovery and development of small-molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, as well as for certain cancers and metabolic diseases. Market cap of $535.57M. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.3% (equivalent to 9.94 days of average volume). The stock has lost 11.53% over the last year.

6. Incyte Corporation (INCY): Focuses on the discovery and development of proprietary small molecule drugs for hematologic and oncology indications, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Market cap of $1.96B. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.43). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.05% (equivalent to 8.83 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 11%.

7. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX): Engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Market cap of $9.90B. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.08% over the last week.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks


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