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XMFHelical (< 20)

Some Drug Data and Housekeeping



April 14, 2008 – Comments (3)


First, I am still intending to follow-up the 'Invest in Biotech CROs' blog.  I'm combing through some lists from industry mags I subscribe to - but the vast vast majority of these companies are private.  Bummer.  So I'll likely describe the process then comment on the public companies that participate.

Now for drug data.  I want to post (more for my own access) some lists.  The first is the list of top 200 brand name drugs listed by sales.  This is from industry mag 'Drug Topics' - a freebie directed to pharmacists.  The list gives the drug name, sales in thousands, and % change in sales yoy (pdf).

Lipitor is still well on top.  But it is headed for expiration (2010) as many know.  This brings us to the second list, drug patent expirations.  It is a list of branded drugs coming off patent in 2008 and 2009 (pdf).

Note the lists include 6 top 20 (in sales) drugs.  Advair, Lamictal (GSK), Topomax (JNJ), Risperdal (Janssen), Effexor XR (Wyeth), Prevacid (TAP).  GSK has 7 entries on the 2 year list including also Valtrex (22 in sales), Avandia (29) and Imitrex (40).  GSK has a great pipeline in my opinion, but best to wait on this investment (I used to own it and will likely again).

This second list was in a supplement that had a few articles on the generic industry.  If there was an index of generic companies, I would be bullish on it (how did Healthshares miss this niche).  I should add a few more generics companies to my CAPS port.

Let me end with an anecdote only a pharma guy could love.  The recent issue of Drug Topics arrived today.  Stuck on the front was an advertisement for an SSRI (antidepressants) drug - Lustral as I recall.  Peel back the advertisement to get to the issue and you find the lead story is "Medicating Kids: Still More Questions than Answers".  It doesn't get any more ironic.  Worth a read if you have questions on this (as I do).

 One last list - top 20 pharmas in terms of sales dollars (pdf).

 Ralph (Zz)


3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 14, 2008 at 3:21 PM, dwot (29.44) wrote:

I don't touch these ones... 

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#2) On April 14, 2008 at 3:59 PM, devoish (83.73) wrote:

I consider any industry that is dependent upon insurance payments to be very risky. This Times article today helps explain why.


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#3) On April 14, 2008 at 5:38 PM, PDTBiotech (82.83) wrote:

Thanks for the links, those lists are crazy handy.  Lots of trading on Phase II/III data, but realistically the patent expiration list is as good a compass as you'll find.

The CRO stuff is very interesting.  It seems much safer to bet that the entire R&D industry will continue to spend more money outsourcing trials than to bet on the individual drugs themselves getting to market.  CRO revenue is a great assay for industry health, but it's probably a lagging indicator.  For people who want exposure to pharma/biotech but don't want the risk of getting jacked up on bad trial data/FDA rejection/lawsuits/fires/earthquakes/etc. CROs are probably a great LTBH.

I also dug the animal research post.  I've done a lot of work with cancer models, and basically look at xenografts as the lowest hurdle a cancer drug can jump.  If you can't even show activity against a tumor selected because it fits your drug's target profile or engineered to respond to your drug then you're wasting your time.  The same drug that completely wipes out a xenograft in nude mice often can't do much to a tumor generated in an immune-intact wild-type mouse with an inducible oncogene.  IMGN is a great example of how animal models are and aren't useful - they can literally cure cancer in xenograft models and keep it gone for the duration of the mouse's life, but testing on a heterogeneous, native human tumor with many clonal subpopulations and a very unstable genome that is constantly generating new mutations has proven exceedingly difficult.  Still, gotta start somewhere.

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