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AbbVie's Imbruvica's Phase III Study Meets Primary Endpoint

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AbbVie ((ABBV - Free Report) announced top-line results from the phase III iLLUMINATE (PCYC-1130) study that met its primary endpoint of improvement in progression-free survival (PFS). The study evaluated cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) in combination with Gazyva (obinutuzumab) in previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) patients compared to chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab.

Year to date, shares of AbbVie have increased 6.6% against the industry’s decline of 4.4%.

Imbruvica is jointly developed and marketed by AbbVie’s subsidiary Pharmacyclics LLC and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ - Free Report) subsidiary, Janssen Biotech. It is currently approved in the United States for treating patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), who have received at least one therapy earlier and for CLL patients with deletion 17p. It is also approved in the European Union for treatment of MCL. Significantly, in January 2017, Imbruvica was approved for patients with marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), requiring a systemic therapy and having received at least one prior anti-CD20 based therapy.

The iLLUMINATE study met its primary endpoint for a clinically and statistically significant difference in PFS for patients treated with Imbruvica plus obinutuzumab versus those who received chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab, as assessed by an Independent Review Committee (IRC).

Pharmacyclics and Janssen are sharing the primary analysis data from the study with regulatory authorities and plan to present the data in a future publication or medical congress. Based on the data and if approved by the FDA, Imbruvica plus obinutuzumab could be the first chemotherapy-free CD20 combination in first-line CLL treatment.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

AbbVie has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the same space are Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) and Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND - Free Report) . While Illumina sports a Zacks Rank#1 (Strong Buy), Ligand carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Illumina’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from $4.62 to $4.84 for 2018 and from $5.35 to $5.57 for 2019 over the past 30 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 23.17%. The stock has rallied 24% so far this year.

Ligand’s earnings per share estimates have been revised upward from $4.09 to $4.37 for 2018 over the past 60 days. The company came up with a positive earnings surprise in all of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 31.79%. The company’s shares have rallied 38.4% year to date.

AbbVie Inc. Price

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