March 3, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of drug developer Alkermes (Nasdaq: ALKS ) slipped as much as 16% in intraday trading on heavier-than-average trading.
So what: I'll tell you who's making a toast early in the day today -- the Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO ) marketing department. Results from a study that stacked Bydureon -- a diabetes treatment from Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN ) in partnership with Alkermes and Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY ) -- against Novo's Victoza showed that Victoza did a better job controlling the disease than Bydureon. Talk about a serious backfire.
Now what: The results of this study are not part of the regulatory approval process for Bydureon. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve Bydureon, and Amylin et al plan to submit a letter later this year to hopefully address the FDA's concerns.
Instead, the primary concern today is that the study's results will hamper marketing once the drug gets approved. Despite the setback, analysts still seem to think that Bydureon could be a big moneymaker. Using extended-release technology from Alkermes, Bydureon is a once-weekly version of Amylin's Byetta, which requires two injections per day. Novo's Victoza requires one dosage per day.
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