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Onward and upward

Biotech winners, losers in 2Q17

The top three market cap tiers continued to outperform smaller caps in 2Q17, led by companies valued between $1 billion and $9.9 billion. Companies valued below $1 billion failed to carry over their momentum from the first quarter, with the bottom two market cap tiers both losing ground.

Large cap biotechs valued at $10 billion and up posted a median increase of 4.2% and gained nearly $47 billion in aggregate equity value (see “Results by Market Cap”).

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. led the charge with a 27% gain after U.S. and EU approval of Kevzara sarilumab to treat rheumatoid arthritis and FDA approval of a new once-monthly dosing schedule for hypercholesterolemia drug Praluent alirocumab. Both Kevzara, a mAb against IL-6 receptor, and Praluent, a mAb against PCSK9, are partnered with Sanofi.

Regeneron also got a bump late in the quarter on data from a Phase III trial comparing its wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) drug Eylea aflibercept to brolucizumab from Novartis AG. While the trial found brolucizumab non-inferior to Eylea, multiple analysts and investors noted that putting the milestone in the rearview mirror removed an overhang on Regeneron’s stock.

UCB S.A. posted the only double-digit loss among large caps, with shares off 17% on the quarter on a cardiovascular safety signal in the Phase III ARCH trial of Evenity romosozumab to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. Evenity has a PDUFA date of July 19, but UCB and partner Amgen Inc. have said they no longer expect FDA to approve the mAb against sclerostin.

The $5-$9.9 billion band performed best among the five tiers, surging to a 10.2% median gain and adding $6.7 billion in total market value.

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