Back to top

Amarin's Stock Soars as Fish Oil Drug Lowers Heart Risks

Read MoreHide Full Article

Shares of Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN - Free Report) have risenalmost 350% in this week. On Sep 24, the company had announced positive data from a cardiovascular outcomes study on its fish oil capsules, Vascepa. 

The results demonstrated that Vascepa can significantly reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with LDL-C (bad cholesterol) controlled by statin therapy. Year to date, shares of the company have increased 235.4% against the industry’s decline of 2.2%.


Please note that Vascepa is already approved in the United States as an adjunct to diet, to reduce triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe (≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia.

The REDUCE-IT study evaluated whether patients with bad cholesterol controlled by statin therapy and at cardiovascular risk can achieve significant cardiovascular risk reduction on treatment with Vascepa.

The REDUCE-IT study showed that the use of Vascepa 4gms/day resulted in 25% relative risk reduction of a major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE), with a high degree of statistical significance when compared with placebo. MACE is a composite endpoint of CV death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina requiring hospitalization.

Vascepa was well tolerated in the study with a consistent safety profile. The details of the REDUCE-IT study will be presented at American Heart Association (AHA) annual session in mid-November.

If Amarin gets the approval to include the outcomes data on the label of Vascepa, it can cater to a larger patient population and generate higher sales.

However, this news might not be comforting for some companies that also have products similar to Vascepa in their portfolio, like Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) and Amgen’s (AMGN - Free Report) PCSK9 inhibitors, Praluent and Repatha, respectively. Sanofi’s Praluent showed a 15% reduction of MACE risk in the Odyssey Outcomes study. Amgen’s Repatha helped a group of patients with cardiovascular disease reduce their MACE risk by 15%, when added to statin treatment. 

However, Vascepa’s extremely positive results can pose a serious threat to Repatha and Praulent sales. Some investors believe that Vascepa could have an upper hand because it is affordable, orally administered and has a favorable safety profile.


Zacks Rank and Stock to Consider

Amarin is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

A better-ranked stock in the biotech sector is Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Ligand’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from $5.64 to $6.33 for 2018 and from $5.59 to $5.74 for 2019 in the last 30 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 59.54%. Share price of the company has increased 96.5% year to date.

5 Medical Stocks to Buy Now

Zacks names 5 companies poised to ride a medical breakthrough that is targeting cures for leukemia, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia and other conditions.

New products in this field are already generating substantial revenue and even more wondrous treatments are in the pipeline. Early investors could realize exceptional profits.

Click here to see the 5 stocks >>

More from Zacks Analyst Blog

You May Like

Published in