On Monday, a few of the major companies within the health care sector made substantial runs, either up or down. This sector in particular can be very volatile, but this is the nature of the beast. When clinical trials signal that a drug has the green light, shares can jump. But conversely, a failed trial can spell disaster for a company.
Below we have included information about these three companies, as well as recent trading activity and the consensus price target.
Prior to its presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) announced that Keytruda (pembrolizumab), demonstrated superiority in overall survival (OS) at 18 months compared to standard of care chemotherapy (docetaxel) in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously treated with platinum-containing chemotherapy whose tumors expressed PD-L1, as well as patients with high levels of PD-L1 expression.
Roy S. Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and chief of medical oncology, Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven, commented:
These findings – which show superior survival with longer follow-up across patients with PD-L1 expression (tumor proportion score of one percent or more), as well as improved quality of life – point to KEYTRUDA as a durable treatment option for many previously treated patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. These data also reinforce the value of using PD-L1 as a biomarker to identify patients who are likely to benefit from KEYTRUDA.
Merck shares were trading up 2% at $64.04 on Monday. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $66.21 and a 52-week trading range of $47.97 to $64.86.
Shares of Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) traded higher on Monday following the announcement that the company has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice. It has agreed to pay a settlement of $465 million in regards to the classification of its EpiPen Auto-Injector for the purposes of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. Ultimately the stock is up because investors thought that this settlement would be worse for Mylan. Keep in mind that Mylan has a total market cap of roughly $21 billion.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch commented:
This agreement is another important step in Mylan’s efforts to move forward and bring resolution to all EpiPen Auto-Injector related matters. The agreement is in addition to the significant steps Mylan has taken in relation to EpiPen Auto-Injector over the past several weeks, including the unprecedented, pending launch of a generic version of EpiPen Auto-Injector and expansion of our patient access programs for this product. Entering into this settlement is the right course of action at this time for the Company, its stakeholders and the Medicaid program.
Shares of Mylan were trading up over 8% at $38.96, with a consensus price target of $55.41 and a 52-week range of $35.58 to $55.51.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) updated results at the ESMO from two pivotal Phase 3 studies, CheckMate -057 and CheckMate -017, which showed more than one-third of previously treated metastatic NSCLC patients in both trials experienced ongoing responses with Opdivo, compared to no ongoing responses in the docetaxel arm.
There were no new safety signals identified for Opdivo in the pooled safety analysis from both studies. No new treatment-related deaths occurred between one and two years’ minimum follow-up despite the longer treatment exposure, and new events were observed in 11/418 patients with an additional one year of follow up.
The median duration of response (DOR) with Opdivo versus docetaxel in CheckMate -057 was 17.2 months and 5.6 months, respectively, and in CheckMate -017 it was 25.2 months and 8.4 months, respectively.
Shares of Bristol Myers were down nearly 10% at $50.00, with a consensus price target of $67.05 and a 52-week range of $49.92 to $77.12.