Thursday, September 17, 2015

As We Previously Predicted, Lilly's SGLT-2 Will Get A Boost, Even As Merck Hits Headwinds -- In Diabetes

Even as Merck was outlining its pipeline, and plans, at the Morgan Stanley confab -- in the diabetes management franchise -- it was actually Lilly's new SGLT-2 drug making the real waves today in that space.

Just as we had directly suggested in August, the cardio-protective side benefit of Lilly's Jardiance® may well cause a sea-change, among prescribers -- away from Kenilworth's Januvia®. Here is a bit of the Reuters item, of earlier today:

. . . .Sanford Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson more than tripled his annual sales forecast for Jardiance and combination drugs containing it to $2.7 billion by 2020. He cut his 2020 sales forecast for Merck & Co Inc's Januvia, the leading member of a competing class of oral diabetes drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors, to $6 billion from $7.8 billion.

Anderson estimates Jardiance could boost Lilly's earnings per share by 8 percent on average across 2016 to 2020.

In the study, patients taking Jardiance had a 38 percent reduction in cardiovascular death, including from heart attacks and strokes. There was no significant difference in non-fatal heart attacks or non-fatal strokes. . . .

To be sure, Merck will be fine -- with Keytruda® (in cancers) off and running, and more than filling the Januvia revenue gap, in years beyond 2016. But in the short term, it may prove to be a bit of a pinch -- at the revenue line, globally. Hooray -- it is almost Friday!

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