Sandoz, the generic arm of
), continues to advance its pipeline of biosimilars.
Sandoz generated sales of $6.7 billion in the first nine
months of 2013 driven by double-digit retail generics and
biosimilars sales increases in Western Europe (excluding
Biosimilars are the growth engine of Sandoz, generating
double-digit sales increase driven by continued momentum in its
three in-market products - Omnitrope (human growth hormone),
Binocrit (epoetin alfa) and Zarzio (filgrastim).
Sandoz recently initiated a phase III clinical trial on its
biosimilar version of
) Humira (adalimumab).
We note that Humira is approved for the treatment of
rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease.
The phase III study will evaluate the efficacy, similarity,
and immunogenicity of adalimumab vis-à-vis Humira in patients
suffering from moderate-to-severe plaque-type psoriasis. The
positive results from the trial will enable Novartis submit the
same to regulatory bodies in the U.S. and EU.
Humira generated sales of $7.6 billion in the first nine
months of 2013. Hence, the successful development of a biosimilar
version of Humira will be a major boost for Novartis. Apart from
adalimunab, Sandoz also has other advanced stage candidates in
its biosimilars pipeline, such as etanercept, a biosimilar
We are encouraged by the recent business developments at
Sandoz. Last week, Sandoz received marketing authorization for
AirFluSal Forspiro in Denmark after it proved the safety,
efficacy and equivalence of AirFluSal Forspiroin multiple
In addition, Sandoz entered into a collaboration agreement
with Taiwan Liposome Company Ltd. As per the agreement, Sandoz
will be responsible for the commercialization of the latter's
Liposomal Amphotericin B product in the EU and U.S.
Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now,
) look attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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