Major Weekend Biotech Announcements Could Produce Gains on Monday

Brian is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

The weekend is always the source for many big-time data announcements and presentations in the biotechnology space. The most significant annual meetings are usually held during the weekend, therefore giving investors extra time to process important information. With that being said, I am looking at four companies that might trade higher following major announcements on two potentially blockbuster drugs.

Ibrutinib Data Impresses in Initial Studies

On Saturday, biotechnology companies Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ: PCYC) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced follow-up results for their oral chronic lymphocytic leukemia (SLL) product, ibrutinib. The product has been tested as both a single agent and in combination with rituximab on patients 65 years old or over.

In both trials, used both alone and in combination, the drug slowed the progression of the blood cancer in its early and mid-stage trials. By itself, ibrutinib stopped the disease from getting worse for 26 months in 96% of untreated patients. Furthermore, the drug stopped the progression of the disease in 75% of patients who had already relapsed or were at risk of doing so.

The findings from the ongoing Phase 1b/2 and Phase 2 trials were encouraging and might indicate success as the companies continue to test the product. However, keep in mind, this is not a drug that is market-ready. There is still testing that has to be done. Nonetheless, this news will probably still move both stocks as the sales potential for this one product is enormous.

Pharmacyclics is well-positioned to receive large milestone payments and great royalties, but J&J is positioned for large profits following its development. This is a drug being developed for several purposes and has seen strong results across the board, one that analysts believe has multi-billion-dollar annual potential.

Eliquis Looks Ready to Dominate with Massive Sales

The big data announcement of the weekend came from Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Bristol-Myers (NYSE: BMY): the results from its Phase 3 trial for Eliquis in the prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE). This might sound like a fairly uncommon disease, but the drug has already been tested on 2,486 patients and if successful this product could return sales north of $4 billion.

In the trial, both Pfizer and Bristol-Myers were trying to determine if the product cut the risk of clots in veins and lungs. They found that it was effective, cutting the risk by 81% compared to placebo in its massive one-year follow-up study. Now, both companies look well positioned to benefit from this data and could post significant gains following this news, which should result in an FDA approval for this indication.

Conclusion:

All companies involved in this weekend’s data announcements will look to benefit and post gains in the week that lies ahead. Both products have sales potential in the multi-billions and are among the most important in the pipeline of all companies involved. It will be interesting to watch the trading activity on Monday, because although the data results from ibrutinib are significant, J&J might also be negatively affected due to the success of Eliquis, since it is a direct competitor of its product Xarelto.

Regardless, if you own stock in any of the companies above or are looking to buy following this news, no one can deny the innovation of these products. Both are using new technologies and have the potential to be tested and used on various indications, making the sales potential enormous. Both have been highly anticipated and for investors who have long awaited and have expected strong results, they might just be rewarded with gains and large sales for many years to come. 


BrianNichols has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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