This Fish Oil Is No Snake Oil

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Amarin (Nasdaq: AMRN  ) jumped 65% yesterday after releasing phase 3 data for its fish oil drug, AMR101. That sounds about right. So far, AMR101 looks like a wonder drug, and its potential is huge.

In a phase 3 trial dubbed Marine, the highly purified and concentrated fish oil lowered triglyceride levels by as much as 33%, without raising "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK  ) currently has a prescription-grade fish oil drug, Lovaza, on the market that has brought in $590 million through the first three quarters of 2010. Lovaza, however, raises bad cholesterol levels, which limits its use to just patients with very high triglyceride levels.

Amarin is running another phase 3 trial called Anchor -- can you see the aquatic theme? -- with patients who have intermediately high triglyceride levels. Passing that trial without any hiccups could put AMR101 in the multibillion-dollar drug category. The moderately high triglyceride market is huge. It's not like Americans eat very well. Just look at sales of Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE  ) Lipitor, AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN  ) Crestor, and Merck's (NYSE: MRK  ) Vytorin.

Assuming the drug passes the Anchor trial, the biggest issue I see with AMR101 is the patent protection. Amarin says this trial could extend patent claims out to 2030, and the company lists a disease-specific patent that expires in 2021 on its website. Method-of-use patents are a lot easier to break than composition of matter patents. The biggest long-term winner from AMR101 may turn out to be generic-drug makers.

Investors can worry about that at a later date, though. For now, enjoy the run upward, and look for a little more if the Anchor trial turns up positive next year.

Interested in keeping track of Amarin as it moves AMR101 toward the market? Click here to add it to My Watchlist, which will help you keep track of all our Foolish analysis on Amarin.

Pfizer is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of and has written covered calls on GlaxoSmithKline, which is a Motley Fool Global Gains choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1384072, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2016 4:04:39 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
AMRN $3.20 Up +0.04 +1.27%
Amarin CAPS Rating: ****
AZN $30.72 Down -0.28 -0.90%
AstraZeneca CAPS Rating: ****
GSK $41.13 Down -0.30 -0.72%
GlaxoSmithKline CAPS Rating: ***
MRK $61.20 Down -0.72 -1.16%
Merck and Co. CAPS Rating: ****
PFE $32.18 Down -0.36 -1.11%
Pfizer CAPS Rating: ****