1 Positive, 1 Negative For Johnson & Johnson Stock
In a report published Friday, Morgan Stanley analyst David R Lewis maintained his Equal-weight rating on Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). The analyst believes that ASCO entails both headwinds and tailwinds for the company oncology franchise with Zytiga.
"Daratumumab remains one of the more promising prospects in J&J's near term pipeline," Lewis said, adding that he expected "the data in the Phase II trial of daratumumab monotherapy in double refractory MM patients to be strong given J&J's stated plan for a 2015 FDA BLA filing."
According to the Morgan Stanley report, daratumumab is likely to show higher activity than existing anti-CD38 treatments. The analyst expressed his optimism regarding daratumumab's potential, both as a single agent, as well as in combination with other MM therapies for second line treatment.
"AntiCD38 is a different mechanism than existing treatments and the anticipated cost savings from forthcoming genericization of Velcadein in the EU (2015) and the US (2017) will likely create opportunities for daratumumab to be added to therapies," Lewis stated.
Results from the STAMPEDE trial show that a combination of docetaxel and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) increases the median survival time to 77 months, as compared to 67 months with ADT alone. The analyst believes that these results could impact the pre-chemotherapy market opportunities for Zytiga.
The analyst also believes that "Zytiga will cede market share to Xtandi over time as the co-prescription with prednisone weighs on Zytiga's competitive profile, a largely known risk factor. Perhaps more worrying are the prospects for ARN-509 and its use in non-metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer patients."
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