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AstraZeneca Announces Encouraging Data from Brilinta Study

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AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) announced encouraging top-line results from the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 study on Brilinta. The study evaluated Brilinta 60 mg twice daily or 90mg twice daily plus low-dose aspirin for the secondary prevention of atherothrombotic events in patients having a history of heart attack one to three years prior to study initiation.

Results revealed that the study successfully met the primary endpoint of a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke. Moreover, the study did not reveal any unexpected safety issues. Currently, the full evaluation of the data is ongoing and complete data from the study are expected to be submitted to a scientific meeting later in the year.

AstraZeneca also has plans to file the data with the regulatory health authorities after further analysis.

Brilinta is one of the key new products at AstraZeneca and is also identified as one of the five growth platforms at the company. It is available for reducing cardiovascular death and heart attack in patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome since its approval in the U.S. in 2011. For the first nine months of 2014, the product generated revenues of approximately $343 million, up 78% year over year. The company is working on driving Brilinta sales.

Several studies on Brilinta are ongoing including SOCRATES (acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack), THEMIS (type II diabetes and coronary atherosclerosis) and EUCLID (peripheral artery disease). We note that all these studies including the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 are part of the company’s PARTHENON program on Brilinta.

Our Take

The positive results from the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 study are encouraging. To some extent the company’s growth is dependent on Brilinta sales. AstraZeneca intends to generate over $45 billion of revenues in 2023. We believe successful label expansion of the drug in the above mentioned indications will be crucial for the company in meeting its revenue target. We expect investor focus to remain on the drug going forward.

AstraZeneca carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering in the healthcare space are Allergan Inc. (AGN - Free Report) , Amgen Inc. (AMGN - Free Report) and AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMAG - Free Report) . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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