Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
) and Active Biotech recently announced that the first patient
for their phase III CONCERTO study has been enrolled.
The multinational, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled
study is being conducted in patients with relapsing-remitting
multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Two doses of laquinimod (0.6 mg and
1.2 mg) will be evaluated in the study with the primary endpoint
being confirmed disability progression as measured by the
Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
Laquinimod has been evaluated in two other phase III trials
(ALLEGRO and BRAVO) earlier. The candidate is also being studied
for Crohn's disease and lupus.
The successful development and launch of laquinimod would help
strengthen Teva's multiple sclerosis drug portfolio. Being an
oral formulation, laquinimod could provide an advantage over
therapies that require injection or infusion.
Teva already has a multiple sclerosis product in its portfolio
- Copaxone. Copaxone is approved for the reduction of the
frequency of relapses in RRMS, including patients who have
experienced a first clinical episode and have MRI features
consistent with multiple sclerosis.
We are pleased with Teva's efforts to expand its multiple
sclerosis franchise. The multiple sclerosis market represents
significant commercial potential. The disease is estimated to
affect more than 400,000 people in the US. Worldwide, it is
estimated that more than two million people may be suffering from
Key players in the multiple sclerosis market include
) among others.
Teva currently carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). At present,
) looks more attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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