Forest Laboratories, Inc.
) recently announced the launch of its Alzheimer's drug, Namenda
XR, in the US.
Namenda XR (28 mg) is a once-daily extended-release version of
the company's immediate release (IR) formulation of Namenda.
Namenda XR is approved for the treatment of moderate to severe
dementia of the Alzheimer's type and is available at a higher
dose than Namenda IR.
Namenda IR is a top revenue earner for Forest Labs with fiscal
2013 sales coming in at $1.5 billion, up 7.1%. However, the drug
will lose patent protection and face generic competition from Jan
2015. Forest Labs is working on protecting the Namenda franchise
from generics by switching users to the new once-daily
Forest Labs also has a deal with Adamas Pharma for the
development of a fixed dosed combination of Namenda XR and
donepezil HCl for the once-daily treatment of moderate to severe
dementia of the Alzheimer's type. The companies are currently
expecting to launch the combination in calendar 2015.
On its fourth quarter fiscal 2013 call, Forest Labs said that
it is looking to convert 10% to 15% of Namenda IR users to the XR
formulation within Apr 2014 and 20% to 30% in the following 18 -
24 months. Namenda sales (including Namenda XR) are expected to
increase 8.3% to $1.625 billion in fiscal 2014.
Forest Labs currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The
company is facing tough times with Lexapro losing patent
protection. Moreover, the performance of new products, especially
Teflaro, has been below expectations. We also remain concerned
about rising expenses. However, we remain encouraged by Forest
Labs' progress with its pipeline candidates.
Forest Labs has been pretty successful in gaining regulatory
approval for several products over the last few years and has an
important regulatory event coming up next month with the FDA
slated to respond on the company's marking application for
At present, companies like
) look well-positioned with all three carrying a Zacks Rank #1
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