Pipeline updates are highly awaited events in the
pharma/biotech sector as they play an important role for
investors in deciding whether or not to invest in a particular
company. These updates provide information on experimental drugs
and at times give an insight into the commercial potential of the
candidate once it is successfully developed and commercialized.
Late last week,
Forest Laboratories, Inc.
) and partner, Gedeon Richter plc, announced positive results
from a phase IIb study (n=819) on cariprazine. The study was
conducted to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of
the candidate for the treatment of adults (between 18 and 65
years of age) suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) who
have responded inadequately to antidepressant therapy (ADT).
Of the three treatment groups in the study, the cariprazine
(2-4.5 mg/day) and ADT combination showed a statistically
significant improvement in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression
Rating Scale (MADRS) total score compared to placebo at 8 weeks.
The other two treatment groups were the combinations of
cariprazine (1-2 mg/day) and ADT, and placebo and ADT.
The positive results from the study are encouraging. Forest Labs
mentioned in its press release that around 16 million adults in
the U.S. are affected annually by MDD. Moreover, the World Health
Organization believes that depression will become the second
leading cause of disability by 2020.
We note that the MDD market currently has big players like
Eli Lilly and Company
). Moreover, companies like
) are also trying to enter the market - Alkermes has a phase III
candidate, ALKS 5461, in its pipeline.
Forest Labs is also evaluating cariprazine for the treatment of
adults suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar mania. However,
in November last year, the company had received a complete
response letter in the U.S. for this indication.
Meanwhile, Forest Labs was in the news last month when
) announced its intention to acquire the former for a cash and
equity transaction valued at about $25 billion. The deal is
expected to close in mid-2014.
Forest Labs carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better ranked
stock includes Alkermes carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
ACTAVIS PLC (ACT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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