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Novartis (NVS) Announces Various Data Presentations at ASCO

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Novartis AG (NVS - Free Report) announced few data presentations at the ASCO 2019 annual meeting.

The company announced statistically significant overall survival (OS) results for its breast cancer drug, Kisqali, in combination with endocrine therapy. The phase III MONALEESA-7 study evaluated Kisqali plus endocrine therapy as initial treatment compared to endocrine therapy alone in pre- and peri-menopausal women with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

The data released showed survival rates of 70% inpre-menopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer at 42 months after getting a combination of Kisqali and endocrine therapy. That compares with 46% who received only endocrine therapy, which at the time of the study was the standard of care.

Kisqali is the only CDK4/6 inhibitor to show superior OS in advanced breast cancer.

Results from subgroup analyses showed that Kisqali plus an aromatase inhibitor demonstrated a 30% reduced risk of death compared to an aromatase inhibitor alone. Also, Kisqali plus tamoxifen demonstrated a 20.9% reduced risk of death compared to tamoxifen alone.

Shares of the company increased 18.6% year to date compared with the industry’s growth of 1%.

Novartis also announced new data and clinical trial updates in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The company announced primary efficacy results from the GEOMETRY mono-1 phase II study. The results demonstarted that investigational MET inhibitor capmatinib (INC280) showed promising efficacy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC that harbor MET exon-14 skipping mutation. There are currently no approved targeted therapies to treat thisparticularly aggressive form of NSCLC.

Overall response rate among patients receiving capmatinib was 68% for treatment-naive and 41% for previously treated patients. The median duration of response was also clinically meaningful irrespective of prior line of therapy.

Capmatinib (INC280) is an investigational, oral and selective MET inhibitor licensed to Novartis by Incyte Corporation (INCY - Free Report) in 2009. Under the agreement, Incyte granted the company worldwide exclusive development and commercialization rights to capmatinib and certain back-up compounds in all indications.

Further, Novartis also announced positive top-line data from two phase III studies evaluating Xolair (omalizumab). The phase III POLYP 1 AND POLYP 2 studies of Xolair in adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (crswnp) with inadequate response to intranasal corticosteroids met both co-primary endpoints and key secondary endpoints. In both studies, Xolair showed a safety profile consistent with previous FDA approved indications of chronic spontaneous urticaria and severe allergic asthma. CRSwNP impacts up to 4% of people worldwide, and the prevalence increases with age.


Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 ( Strong Sell).

Some other better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Free Report) and Merck and Co., Inc. (MRK - Free Report) . While Bristol-Myers sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Merck carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Bristol-Myers’ earnings per share estimates have moved up from $4.78 to $5.03 for 2020 in the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in the trailing four quarters, with average beat of 11.85%.         

Merck’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from $4.72 to $4.73 for 2019 and from $5.17 to $5.21NVS for 2020 in the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in the trailing four quarters, with average beat of 5.67%.   

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