Shares of Celgene Corp. tumbled Monday morning as analysts dissected concerns raised by data presented for the biotech drugmaker’s Revlimid cancer treatment at the American Society of Hematology meeting.
A clinical trial investigator said more occurrences of observed secondary malignancies have been found in patients who received a maintenance dose of the myeloma treatment compared to those who received a placebo. Jefferies & Co. analyst Thomas Wei said in a research note company officials believe the rate falls within historical rates for myeloma patients.
Revlimid is a pill taken for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. It is approved in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one prior therapy. Revlimid sales rose 43 percent in the third quarter to $641 million.
That represented 70 percent of Celgene’s total revenue of $910.1 million in the quarter.
Baird analyst Christopher J. Raymond said in a separate research note that while the possibility of secondary malignancies may “raise a few eyebrows, we think this signal is completely explainable and would use any weakness in the stock as a buying opportunity.” Raymond said the drug’s safety is worth watching, but saw nothing to change the firm’s thesis on the company.
Baird has an “outperform” rating on the stock.
Wei said Jefferies continues to believe “Revlimid maintenance could become part of the gold standard treatment strategy for front-line myeloma.”
Date: December 6, 2010
Source: Associated Press
Filed Under: Drug Discovery