Back to top

Analyst Blog

Roche (RHHBY - Analyst Report) recently announced encouraging data from phase IIb studies, LUTE / VERSE on asthma candidate lebrikizumab.

The data was presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in California.

The data from the studies showed that lebrikizumab-treated patients with a high level of the biomarker periostin (a protein that indicates a certain type of asthma) depicted a 60% reduction in asthma attacks as compared to only 5% reduction in patients with a low level of periostin.

In addition, lebrikizumab improved lung function in patients with high periostin levels. Lebrikizumab was generally well-tolerated and the safety profile was consistent with previous study results.

As per AAAAI estimates, a quarter of a million people worldwide die every year from asthma on a worldwide basis.

We note that lebrikizumab is currently being evaluated in adult patients with severe uncontrolled asthma in two phase III studies -- LAVOLTA I and LAVOLTA II.

Roche is also evaluating lebrikizumab for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

We note that Roche’s Xolair is already approved for the treatment of asthma. Xolair was one of the leading drugs for Roche in 2013 generating sales of $790 million, up 13% year over year.

The successful development of lebrikizumab for severe asthma will further strengthen Roche’s immunology portfolio.

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the pharma industry include Novo Nordisk (NVO - Analyst Report), Shire (SHPG - Analyst Report) and Forest Laboratories . While Shire is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, the other two 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

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
TRIQUINT SE… TQNT 20.34 +4.85%
CHYRONHEGO… CHYR 2.85 +4.78%
VASCO DATA… VDSI 14.72 +4.32%
RF MICRO DE… RFMD 12.26 +4.25%
ERBA DIAGNO… ERB 3.70 +2.49%