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MRK

Merck

$72.34

0.12 (0.17%)

, AZN

AstraZeneca

$39.21

0.25 (0.64%)

16:40
10/21/18
10/21
16:40
10/21/18
16:40

Merck, AstraZeneca announce detailed results from Phase 3 SOLO-1 trial

AstraZeneca (AZN) and Merck (MRK) announced detailed results from the Phase 3 SOLO-1 trial testing LYNPARZA 300 mg tablets twice daily as a maintenance treatment for patients with newly-diagnosed advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer who were in complete or partial response following first-line standard platinum-based chemotherapy. Results of the trial confirm the statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful improvement in progression-free survival for LYNPARZA as compared to placebo, reducing the risk of disease progression or death by 70%. At 41 months of follow-up, the median PFS for patients treated with LYNPARZA was not reached compared to 13.8 months for patients treated with placebo. Of those receiving LYNPARZA, 60.4% remained progression-free at 36 months, compared to 26.9% of women in the placebo arm. The SOLO-1 safety profile was in line with that observed in prior clinical trials. 71% of patients on LYNPARZA remained on the recommended starting dose. Additionally, 88% of patients on LYNPARZA continued treatment without an AE-related discontinuation. Further, 48% of patients on LYNPARZA did not have a dose interruption as a result of an AE. Per SOLO-1 protocol guidelines, patients who demonstrated a complete response at two years stopped treatment with LYNPARZA; patients who demonstrated a partial response and, who in the opinion of the treating physician can derive further benefit from continuous treatment, were treated beyond two years. AstraZeneca and Merck are exploring additional trials in ovarian cancer, including the ongoing GINECO/ENGOTov25 Phase 3 trial, PAOLA-1. This trial is testing the effect of LYNPARZA in combination with bevacizumab as a maintenance treatment for patients with newly-diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer regardless of their BRCA status. Results are expected during the second half of 2019. LYNPARZA is not currently FDA-approved for advanced BRCAm ovarian cancer treatment in the first-line maintenance setting. LYNPARZA is indicated for the maintenance treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer in response to platinum-based chemotherapy regardless of BRCA mutation status, and for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer patients with a germline BRCA mutation previously treated with three or more lines of chemotherapy. Physicians should select advanced ovarian cancer patients for therapy based on a FDA-approved companion diagnostic.

MRK

Merck

$72.34

0.12 (0.17%)

AZN

AstraZeneca

$39.21

0.25 (0.64%)

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MRK Merck
$72.34

0.12 (0.17%)

10/11/18
FBCO
10/11/18
NO CHANGE
Target $81
FBCO
Outperform
Merck price target raised to $81 from $71 at Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan raised his price target for Merck to $81 from $71, while reiterating an Outperform rating on the shares. While the shares have had a significant move this year, the analyst sees room for additional upside as the company continues to roll out Keytruda, most notably in the 1st line non-small cell lung setting. However, Divan also acknowledges longer-term investors remain concerned about how the company will navigate the Januvia patent expiration in mid-2022.
10/16/18
BTIG
10/16/18
INITIATION
Target $82
BTIG
Buy
Esperion initiated with a Buy at BTIG
BTIG analyst Thomas Shrader initiated Esperion (ESPR) with a Buy rating and a price target of $82, saying that with its development of bempedoic acid, or BA, to reduce cholesterol, the next key question is about the drug's safety. The analyst notes that while the data from Study 1 in May were disappointing, Study 2 readout in the next few weeks should have more answers. Shrader adds that the introduction of "non-stain" into the cholesterol market has already worked for Merck's (MRK) Zetia, and if BA is perceived well on its safety profile, it is "highly supportive" of its investment story.
10/16/18
SBSH
10/16/18
NO CHANGE
Target $79
SBSH
Buy
Merck price target raised to $79 from $70 at Citi
Citi analyst Andrew Baum raised his price target for Merck (MRK) to $79 and reiterates a Buy rating on the shares. Following upward revisions to his Lynparza expectations, the analyst raised his earnings forecasts for Merck by 1%-9% over the 2021 to 2025 timeframe. The analyst anticipates that positive Lynparza first-line ovarian cancer trial will make Lynparza standard of care in wild type first-line ovarian cancer patients and leaving it well positioned to take market share in immuno-oncology based combinations post 2021. Baum also raised his price target for AstraZeneca (AZN), Merck's partner on Lynparza, to GBP 70 from GBP 62. He also has a Buy rating on those shares.
10/16/18
WELS
10/16/18
NO CHANGE
WELS
Drug price in ads not impactful, may cause confusion, says Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo analyst David Maris acknowledges that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' proposal to include drug prices in advertisements has a "noble goal" of making drugs more affordable and keeping patients well informed. However, given how different list prices are relative to out of pocket costs, "one must ask if this is increasing transparency or likely going to lead to more confusion," he contends. The analyst also believes that the unintended consequence could be worse care, while noting that the drug price information will likely fall into the category of the side effect information in drug ads currently, tuned out by many and will have no material impact. While he supports the idea of increased transparency, Maris wonders whether the potential benefit is not outweighed by the potential negative for the most vulnerable. Publicly traded companies in the space include AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Roche (RHHBY) and Sanofi (SNY).
AZN AstraZeneca
$39.21

0.25 (0.64%)

09/17/18
PIPR
09/17/18
NO CHANGE
Target $35
PIPR
Neutral
Piper sees Astra's Lynparza as 'much cleaner' than Tesaro's Zejula
Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Raymond reiterates a Neutral rating and $35 price target on Tesaro (TSRO) after analyzing a year's worth of adverse event reporting as captured by FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System database, which he obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The analyst, while cautioning that the database "likely contains inaccuracies and is far from perfect," is "struck by how much cleaner" AstraZeneca's (AZN) Lynparza appears versus Tesaro's Zejula and Clovis Oncology's (CLVS) Rubraca. Further, Raymond is also surprised that Zejula's adverse events rates do not appear to have decreased in any meaningful way year-over-year, despite Tesaro's active down-dosing efforts. Since the analyst thinks PARPi differentiation remains largely around safety, he lowered his Zejula estimates in 2019 and beyond. Lynparza is likely to maintain the upper hand, Raymond tells investors in a research note.
10/08/18
GUGG
10/08/18
INITIATION
GUGG
Buy
AstraZeneca initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim
Guggenheim analyst Seamus Fernandez started AstraZeneca with a Buy rating and 7,018p price target, citing his belief that the company's new product launches in oncology and severe asthma can drive the fastest sales and EPS growth in global pharma.

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BGNE

BeiGene

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Celanese

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Boeing

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Alcoa

$21.70

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Schnitzer Steel

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Schnitzer Steel

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Schnitzer Steel

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Finisar

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Deutsche Bank

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AT&T

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Comcast

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Sony

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Disney

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Vivendi

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