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7 Trends Drug Investors Should Know

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Weekly prescription trends for nine drugs were examined recently by an analyst who tracks the information in conjunction with his quarterly revenue estimates.

Leerink's Howard Liang presented the information gathered by market researcher IMS Health Holdings Inc (NYSE: IMS) in a note Monday.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD)'s Harvoni prescriptions were off 3.1 percent and Liang expects second-quarter sales of the hepatitis C treatment will total $2.2 billion. The Wall Street consensus calls for Harvoni sales of $2 billion, Liang said.

Gilead's Sovaldi sales meanwhile fell 3.4 percent last week following a 2.5 percent increase during the prior week. Liang forecast second-quarter revenue from Sovaldi, also for hepatitis C, of $374 million versus the Street consensus of $714 million.

Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC)'s leukemia and lymphoma drug Imbruvica prescriptions increased 4.3 percent following a 0.3 percent increase in the previous week, according to Liang, who forecast second quarter revenue from the drug of $228 million. Analysts on average predict Imbruvica second-quarter sales of $242 million.

Related Link: 19 Lesser-Known Biotech Stocks With Robust Drug Pipelines

Gilead's Zydelig cancer drug saw sales for the recent week rise 2.7 percent, compared with a 15.3 percent decline a week earlier. Liang expects second-quarter Zydelig revenue of only $10 million, versus $38 million expected on average by analysts.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG)'s Otezla treatment for psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis saw prescriptions increased 1.2 percent following a 2.4 percent drop in the previous week. Liang forecast second-quarter Otezla revenue of $73 million versus the Street's estimate of $85 million.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE: GSK)'s Breo Ellipta for obstructive pulmonary disease saw a 3.6 percent increase last week in prescriptions written. Liang expects quarterly revenue of $52 million from Breo Ellipta compared with a consensus estimate of $37 million.

Glaxo's similar Anoro Ellipta prescriptions increased 2.3 percent and Liang expects second-quarter revenue of $26 million, versus a consensus estimate of $23 million.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)'s Ibrance breast cancer drug prescriptions increased 8.9 percent but Liang said because it's early following the drug's launch, the number may not capture actual demand. Analysts expect second-quarter revenue from Ibrance of $48 million.

Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE: LLY)'s Trulicity treatment for diabetes saw prescriptions increase 0.8 percent although Liang said because the drug was recently launched, the figure may not reflect demand.

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OREX)'s Contrave anti-obesity drug prescriptions fell 0.6 percent last week following a 2.7 percent increase in the previous week.

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