) global eye care division, Alcon, recently received a positive
opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use
(CHMP) for Jetrea (ocriplasmin). Jetrea is under review in the EU
for the treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT) including
instances where the macular hole diameter is less than or equal
to 400 microns.
The CHMP's opinion was based on data submitted from two
pivotal phase III studies which showed that Jetrea successfully
resolved VMT and macular hole compared to placebo.
Belgian biopharmaceutical company ThromboGenics had granted
Novartis the rights to commercialize Jetrea outside the US. In
Oct 2012, Novartis' Jetrea was approved for the treatment of
patients with symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) in the US,
where it was launched earlier this year.
Novartis estimates that 250,000 to 300,000 patients in Europe
suffer from visual distortion, decreased visual acuity and
central blindness. This represents significant commercial
potential for Jetrea, which should be able to capture a share of
the European market considering the limited treatment options
available for VMT. With the CHMP in favor of approving Jetrea, we
expect EU approval for the candidate shortly.
Meanwhile, Novartis received a positive opinion from the CHMP for
another of its candidates, llaris (canakinumab, ACZ885). Ilaris
is under review in the EU for the treatment of patients with
acute gouty arthritis and suffering from frequent attacks, and
whose symptoms were not managed with current treatment options. A
final decision on Ilaris should be out shortly.
Novartis carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other pharmaceutical
companies performing well are
Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
), both of which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) is also performing well and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
BIOCRYST PHARMA (BCRX): Free Stock Analysis
NOVARTIS AG-ADR (NVS): Free Stock Analysis
SALIX PHARM-LTD (SLXP): Free Stock Analysis
VALEANT PHARMA (VRX): Free Stock Analysis
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