Why Celgene Shares Took a Step Back

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Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) saw its shares take a step back early Friday after the firm announced in conjunction with the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA) the results from a late-stage clinical study. The study evaluated Revlimid plus rituximab in patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma.

Specifically, this investigational study evaluated Revlimid plus rituximab (R²) followed by (R²) maintenance compared to the standard of care with rituximab plus chemotherapy (R-CHOP, R-bendamustine or R-CVP) followed by rituximab maintenance in patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma.

The rituximab treatment arm did not achieve superiority in the co-primary endpoints of complete response or unconfirmed complete response (CR/CRu) at 120 weeks and progression-free survival (PFS) during the pre-planned analysis (final analysis of CR/CRu and interim analysis of PFS). Neither arm was superior for either of the co-primary endpoints.

The safety findings were consistent with the known profiles of the regimens investigated. There are additional analyses that are ongoing and planned.

Prof. Gilles Salles, President of LYSA, added:

This is the first Phase III trial to evaluate a chemotherapy-free regimen to the established standard of care in patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma and represents a landmark study in this disease setting. We look forward to further analyzing and presenting these important data at a future medical congress.

Excluding Friday’s move, Celgene had underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down about 7% year to date. Over the past quarter, the stock was down about 25%.

Shares of Celgene were down over 3% at $104.24 Friday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $124.59 and a 52-week range of $94.55 to $147.17.