Back to top

Analyst Blog

Roche (RHHBY - Analyst Report) recently announced positive data on its ulcerative colitis (UC) candidate, etrolizumab (RG7413), from EUCALYPTUS, a phase II induction study (n=124).

The study is evaluating the efficacy and safety of etrolizumab for the treatment of moderate-to-severely active ulcerative colitis. 

The study met its primary endpoint of clinical remission at week 10. Roche observed that patients suffering from moderate-to-severely active UC treated with etrolizumab showed significantly higher rates of clinical remission compared to placebo at week 10.

Moreover, it was observed that etrolizumab was well tolerated without any significant safety concerns.

According to the press release issued by Roche, approximately 0.9 million people suffer from UC in the US and Western Europe. Hence, the successful development and commercialization of etrolizumab bodes well for Roche given the sales potential.

However, the course might not be easy for Roche given the existing stiff competition. We note that Shire (SHPG - Analyst Report) already has approved drugs like Lialda in the US for the treatment of patients with mild to moderately active UC. 

Lialda was one of the best selling drugs for Shire in the first quarter of 2013 driven by an increased market share in the US.

Moreover, AbbVie’s (ABBV - Analyst Report) Humira was approved by the European Commission and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 for the treatment of moderate to severe UC in adult patients, who responded inadequately to conventional therapy.

Nevertheless, we continue to be encouraged with the recent pipeline progress at Roche. Earlier in the month, Roche released positive initial results on its oncology candidate, obinutuzumab (GA101), from CLL11, a phase III study.

In addition, Roche obtained FDA approval for Tarceva (erlotinib) for the first-line treatment of patients suffering from metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP - Analyst Report) looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

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 Zacks.com. 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
SYNAPTICS I… SYNA 78.11 +8.14%
GREEN PLAIN… GPRE 39.41 +5.12%
PILGRIM'S P… PPC 28.82 +3.08%
SKYWORKS SO… SWKS 52.07 +2.58%
CLAYTON WIL… CWEI 109.08 +2.51%