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Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) recently presented morbidity and mortality 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), at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress.

The results from the trial (n=742) showed that the risk of a morbidity/mortality event was cut by 45% in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients treated with Opsumit as compared to those on placebo.It was found that the effects of Opsumit seen earlier in the trial were sustained throughout.

Data from the study showed that Opsumit minimizes PAH related risk of hospitalization and death by 50% and all-cause mortality by 36% as compared to placebo.

The study revealed significant treatment effect in its secondary outcome measures for Opsumit as compared to placebo.

We note that Actelion is looking to get Opsumit approved for the treatment of patients suffering from PAH. Opsumit is currently under review in the U.S., EU and other countries.

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).

Actelion currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks that look equally attractive include Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB - Analyst Report) and Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX - Analyst Report), which carry a Zacks Rank #1. Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) also looks well positioned with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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