Monday, March 16, 2015

WHY Leerink Swann Reduced Its Merck Target To $62.50, From $66 -- Fernandez's Latest Opdivo® Analysis

In a word -- BMS's Opdivo®.

It seems Seamus Fernadez agrees with us: Merck's Keytruda® fortunes are at least marginally worse (albeit in a slightly material fashion), post the news of eleven days ago. Here is a bit, from the Leerink key take-aways, at that firm's 2015 conference on global healthcare. Do go read it all:

. . . .Off-label reimbursement [for BMS's Opdivo] has been challenging to date, but the KOL believes that lung cancer approval in one setting paired with the available scientific publications and abstracts should drive reimbursement across multiple lines of therapy or histologies. Both physicians believe that 2nd line approval of PD1/ PDL1 could change the progression from 1st to 2nd line therapy such that the discontinuation rate between 1st and 2nd line treatment could be much less than the frequently cited 50%.

In addition, it was suggested that savvy physicians could employ a “fast-fail” strategy with chemotherapy in order to more quickly start patients on these life-saving drugs. One KOL noted a similar strategy with Zytiga (abiraterone) which broadened use earlier than most expected. . . .

Opdivo [is] expected to quickly replace Afinitor in 2nd line kidney cancer; assumes success of BMY’s -025 study. The genitourinary specialist (prostate, kidney) was confident that BMY’s Opdivo would best Afinitor in the head-to-head 025 study largely because Afinitor is such a poor treatment standard. He predicted that once available, Opdivo will quickly replace 100% of Afinitor use in kidney cancer. He noted, however, the need for combination therapy to demonstrate improved overall survival vs. 1st line VEGF TKIs.. . .

Sleep well, now one and all!

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