Back to top

Analyst Blog

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

Novartis (NVS - Snapshot Report) recently presented positive data from three large randomized phases III studies (ENESTnd, ENESTcmr and LASOR) conducted on its oncology drug Tasigna.

The studies reinstated the superiority of Tasigna over Glivec in achieving deeper molecular responses across various patient populations affected by Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML).

These patient populations included newly-diagnosed patients, patients with residual disease who switched to Tasigna after long-term treatment with Glivec, and patients who failed to respond to frontline Glivec.

The ENESTnd (Evaluating Nilotinib Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Trials - Newly Diagnosed Patients) compared the efficacy and safety of Tasigna versus Glivec in adult patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML in chronic phase. The data from the study indicated a trend for higher overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates in patients treated with Tasigna compared to patients treated with Glivec.

Novartis also presented data from the ENESTcmr (Evaluating Nilotinib Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Trials - Complete Molecular Response) study, which showed that Ph+ CML patients with residual disease following long-term treatment with Glivec achieved deeper molecular responses after switching to Tasigna.

Meanwhile, results from the LASOR (Imatinib Dose Optimization versus Nilotinib in CML Patients with Suboptimal Response to Imatinib) study compared the efficacy of Tasigna 400 mg twice daily to Glivec 600 mg once daily. The study showed higher rates of molecular response in patients who failed to achieve a cytogenetic response (CCyR) with frontline Glivec and switched to Tasigna compared to those whose dose of Glivec was escalated.

We note that Tasigna is approved for the treatment of chronic phase and accelerated phase Ph+ CML in adult patients, resistant or intolerant to at least one prior therapy, including Glivec.

Tasigna was one of the top-selling drugs for Novartis in the first nine months of 2013, generating sales of $914 million, up 33% from the year-ago period.

Sales of Glivec were down 1% due to loss of patent exclusivity in Brazil, Russia, Canada, Turkey and Mexico, and increased competition in the Ph+ CML indication.

We are encouraged by the results of the follow-up study on Tasigna, which showed its superiority over Glivec in treating Ph+ CML in adult patients and should help replace some of the lost revenues.

Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some of the better-ranked stocks which look attractive at current levels include Bayer AG (BAYRY - Analyst Report), Shire (SHPG - Analyst Report), and Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX - Snapshot Report). All three carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
LAKE SHORE G LSG 0.77 +6.05%
QUESTCOR PHA QCOR 80.07 +2.47%
VIPSHOP HOLD VIPS 156.35 +1.82%
ENLINK MIDST ENLC 36.29 +1.60%
BNC BANCORP BNCN 17.33 +1.58%