Actelion (ALIOF) recently announced that data on pipeline candidate Opsumit from a pivotal phase III study, SERAPHIN (Study with an Endothelin Receptor Antagonist in Pulmonary arterial Hypertension to Improve cliNical outcome), was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
We note that Actelion is evaluating Opsumit for the treatment of patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
The results from the trial (n=742) showed that the risk of a morbidity/mortality event was cut by 45% in patients who were administered Opsumit as compared to those on placebo.
Moreover, Opsumit was able to significantly reduce the risk of morbidity/mortality in both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients.
We remind investors that Opsumit is currently under review in the U.S. and EU.
Apart from PAH, Opsumit is also being evaluated in a pivotal phase III program in patients suffering from digital ulcers associated with systemic sclerosis. Results from this study are expected in 2014. In addition, Opsumit is being evaluated for the treatment of glioblastoma (phase I).
Meanwhile, Actelion has another candidate, selexipag, which is being evaluated for the treatment of PAH in a phase III study, GRIPHON. Results are expected in 2014.
We believe that the successful development and commercialization of Opsumit and selexipag will further strengthen Actelion’s PAH franchise which currently boasts of three drugs, Tracleer, Ventavis and Veletri.
Actelion currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks that look attractive include Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB - Analyst Report), Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) and Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX - Analyst Report). All three carry a Zacks Rank #1.