3rd-Quarter Clinical Trial Data Could Shake Up Pharma Stocks

Pfizer, Roche and GlaxoSmithKline among those reporting study results

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Jul 05, 2022
Summary
  • Pfizer seeking to overtake Merck in vaccine race.
  • Roche trying to unseat AstraZeneca in blood disease treatments.
  • Big Pharma usually affected less by positive/negative results due to its size.
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Health care investors would be wise to keep tabs on the results of numerous drug trials scheduled to be revealed in the third quarter. Trial data can impact the stock price of a pharmaceutical company, sometimes sending it up, sometimes down. In my experience, Big Pharma shares are are usually impacted less than smaller players because they have broad and diverse product lines to fall back on, but that doesn’t mean they’re not vulnerable.

Meanwhile, smaller companies' stock prices can spiral down or soar on drug test data because they often have their eggs in just a few baskets. If the medication shows promise, investors may flock to the stock. If not, they might head for the hills.

In the field of vaccines, analysts predict Pfizer Inc. (

PFE, Financial) will maintain its dominance. We’ll know more this quarter when we learn the outcome of the company’s three global studies of its of pneumococcal vaccine in infants, who account for about 80% of sales.

Three worldwide studies in infants are expected to report soon on Prevnar 20, Pfizer’s 20-valent conjugate vaccine. All three global trials use Pfizer’s earlier 13-valent vaccine, Prevnar 13, as control. In simplest terms, the more valent conjugates, the better the coverage.

In the infant pharmaceuticals market, Pfizer is seeking to overtake Merck & Co. Inc. (

MRK, Financial), which just received Food and Drug Administration approval for its 15-valeant conjugate vaccine and is beginning phase tests of its 23-valent conjugate in adults. Also vying for a piece of the market are GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK, Financial) and privately held Affinivax.

The market for rheumatoid arthritis treatments sees several companies jockeying for position. We should learn shortly how GlaxoSmithKline's otilimab fared in three phase 3 clinical trials in moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment is going head-to-head with Pfizer’s Jak inhibitor Xeljanz and Sanofi (

SNY, Financial) / Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (REGN, Financial) Kevzara.

Meanwhile, Roche (

RHHBY, Financial) seeks to unseat AstraZeneca (AZN, Financial) as the top provider of a treatment for PNH, a rare acquired life-threatening disease of the blood characterized by destruction of red blood cells, blood clots and impaired bone marrow function. Roche’s biggest selling point is its drug can be given subcutaneously (under the skin) while AstraZeneca’s is delivered by IV. The worldwide market for drugs to treat PNH is forecast to reach $3.8 billion by 2027, according to Reportlinker.

Other clinical catalysts that could potentially move the market incldue the following:

  • Roche's tecentriqj, for cancer
  • Eli Lilly and Co.'s (LLY, Financial), donanemab, for Alzheimer's disease
  • Amgen Inc.'s (AMGN) lumakras, for cancer
  • Pfizer's vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus
  • GlaxoSmithKline's jemperl, for cancer
  • AstraZeneca's camizestrant and capivasertib, both for cancer
  • Novo Nordisk's (NVO, Financial) vaccine for diabetes
  • Roche's crovalimab, for PNH
  • Novartis' iptacopan, for kidney function
  • Pfizer's elranatamab and xtandi +talzenna, both for cancer

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I am/we currently own positions in the stocks mentioned, and have NO plans to sell some or all of the positions in the stocks mentioned over the next 72 hours. Click for the complete disclosure
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