Sector News

Lilly, Sanofi, Novo among many pharma players to throw off big price gains in H1

August 24, 2015
Life sciences

On the flip side, AstraZeneca, GSK and J&J stock prices contracted

The first half of the year has provided a good ride for Big Pharma and its investors with indices up in the U.S. and Europe. Even Japanese drugmakers avoided the side effects of China’s stock market meltdown and saw values rise 23%. But, of course, averages come from the highs and the lows and some players have actually seen share price declines during this bull market.

So who has seen the biggest run up so far this year, and who has been on the losing end? The data divers at EvaluatePharma have run the numbers and here is what they found. Among Big Pharma players, Eli Lilly ($LLY), Sanofi ($SNY), and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) saw the biggest gains, while AstraZeneca ($AZN), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) all recorded price drops in H1. Among mid-tier players, Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) and Novo Nordisk ($NVO), performed even better.

Lilly enjoyed a 21% price rise in the first half of the year but as EvaluatePharma sees it, the company’s good fortune is unlikely to hold. That is because the run-up was in anticipation of results for its experimental Alzheimer’s treatment, solanezumab. While the drugmaker last month presented some long-term evidence to show that the amyloid-busting drug has a distinct impact on the disease among early-stage patients, investor enthusiasm seemed to wane on doubts around the drug which twice before failed to hit endpoints in studies. Since the Lilly presented the data, its share price has been static.

For Sanofi, it also was anticipation that played the biggest part in its 17% stock gain, as investors waited to hear what the FDA would do with its new generation PCSK9 high cholesterol fighter. The drug, developed with Regeneron ($REGN), got approval last month but its stock price is not much changed since H1 closed. Finally, BMS has been able to bask in the continuing success of its new immuno-oncology drug Opdivo, EvaluatePharma says. The drug won several new indications since being approved late last year. On top of that, BMS reported impressive sales from its hepatitis C drugs Daklinza(daclatasvir) and Sunvepra, which racked up $743 million in sales without yet being approved in the U.S.

But what happened to AstraZeneca, J&J and GSK –which saw price declines of 9%, 7% and 4% respectively– that they languished while so many of their peers have seen significant gains? For AstraZeneca and U.K. compatriot GSK, have had the wind taken out of the sales by continuing price pressure on their respiratory drug franchises, EvaluatePharma says. For AstraZeneca that is Symbicort and for GlaxoSmithKline that is Advair. It is the same kind of thing for J&J, although in a different treatment category. Its biggest seller, arthritis treatment Remicade, has seen unexpectedly strong competition from biosimilars in Europe.

There were some other, smaller, drugmakers that have seen even more extraordinary gains in price. Valeant Pharmaceutical, which has benefited from its aggressive M&A strategy saw a 55% gain in the first half of the year, while Novo Nordisk, which has been dedicated to organic growth, saw a 40% leap.

While going forward, the winners and losers may very well change, EvaluatePharma sees nothing really standing in the way of a continuation in the market escalation in pharma. “What could bring it to a halt? A safety worry, multiple failures in heralded areas like immuno-oncology, or fizzling sales in a red-hot sector like hepatitis C,” the analysts say. “None of these events can necessarily be predicted, so those calling the top remain in the minority.”

By Eric Palmer

Source: FiercePharma

comments closed

Related News

January 22, 2023

Sun Pharma to buy Concert Pharmaceuticals for $576m

Life sciences

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has signed a definitive agreement to buy all outstanding shares of Concert Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at $576m. Under the deal, the company will buy all shares of Concert common stock through a tender offer for $8.00 per share in cash upfront payment.

January 22, 2023

Novo Nordisk diabetes pill wins FDA approval for first-line use

Life sciences

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Novo Nordisk’s diabetes pill Rybelsus as an initial treatment to lower blood sugar levels, a label expansion that will allow it to compete more directly with other oral drugs from Merck & Co. and Eli Lilly.

January 22, 2023

Bayer feeling more heat from activist investors, this time from Bluebell

Life sciences

Since making an ill-advised $63 billion buy of Monsanto in 2018, Bayer has faced heaps of pressure from investors that have called for the company to oust its leadership and to restructure. Now comes new pressure from a familiar source. Bluebell Capital Partners has bought an undisclosed stake in the company and is agitating for a breakup, sources told Reuters.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach