Analysts are bullish on Eli Lilly with its ‘transformative’ drugs

UBS recently issued a report upgrading Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) to a “Buy” rating as its diabetes and Alzheimer’s drugs present lucrative opportunities.

According to the report, the pharmaceutical giant’s Mounjaro (tirzepatide) “could be the biggest drug ever.” The type 2 diabetes treatment received FDA approval in May. GlobalData said at the time that tirzepatide could quickly become a mega-blockbuster. Annual sales of the drug could approach $14 billion by 2030, according to Mizuho Securities.

UBS analysts agree, tossing aside previous concerns around data and approval for the drug. Results for the Surmount-1 trial represented a “best-in-class” dataset that included greater than 20% weight loss and other “underappreciated metrics.”

According to UBS, Eli Lilly could hit heights of $25 billion in peak sales for Mounjaro.

The company is investigating tirzepatide for potential indications inclu…

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Aducanumab continues to face scrutiny as Biogen aims to woo neurologists and Alzheimer’s patients

Given the demand for a potential disease-modifying therapy for the disease, early demand for Aduhelm (aducanumab) from Biogen (NSDQ:BIIB) and Eisai (TYO:4523) is considerable from patients. Many neurologists, however, continue to view the drug with skepticism.

Fewer than half of neurologists expect they will prescribe the drug in the first six months of availability, according to research from Spherix Global Insights.

Still, many neurologists are receiving a flood of queries about Aduhelm. “We’ve received a lot of inquiries from patients themselves, a lot more referrals from primary care doctors, geriatrics doctors, internal medicine doctors who actually have no idea what aducanumab is, and they just are referring a bunch of patients themselves,” said private-practice neurologist Dr. Roni Sharon in a briefing note with UBS analysts.

Demand for an effective Alzheimer’s treatment is considerable. “Family members have been coming in inquiring about the medi…

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Unraveling aducanumab’s impact on pharma remains a challenge

The FDA’s conditional approval of Biogen’s (NSDQ:BIIB) and Eisai’s (OTCMKTS:ESALY) Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (Aduhelm) may have been controversial, but the decision will likely have a significant financial impact. There are six million Alzheimer’s people in the U.S. alone, according to Alzheimer’s Association estimates. Approximately half of those patients have mild symptoms, which is the group most likely to be prescribed the drug.

A significant number of physicians are considering prescribing the intravenous drug for approximately one-third of Alzheimer’s patients with mild cognitive impairment, according to an analysis from Jefferies.

The survey bodes well for the early uptake of the drug, according to Jefferies. But the continued success of aducanumab will require winning over skeptical neurologists and psychiatrists. Several physicians have penned op-ed’s voicing their resistance to the drug in outlets ranting from STAT to the Baltimore Sun. Last Novembe…

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New COVID-19 variants could diminish vaccine efficacy

COVID-19 is mutating. And while early data suggest vaccines will be effective against more infectious COVID-19 variants that emerged in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, the mutations could have a measurable impact on vaccine efficacy.  

There’s perhaps a 50/50 chance that such new variants could lead to a “numerically meaningful drop” in vaccine efficacy, said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, in a UBS briefing call. 

Get the full story from our sister site, Drug Discovery & Development.

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