2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Hewlett-Packard

CHICAGO, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), Sanofi (NYSE: SNY), Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Sanofi/Merrimack Candidate Progresses

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACK) recently announced that it has completed the enrollment process for a phase II trial on its oncology candidate, MM-121. The phase II trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy of MM-121 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY) Taxol (paclitaxel) in advanced ovarian cancer patients who are platinum-resistant or platinum refractory. Merrimack is collaborating with Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) for MM-121.

The open-label, randomized phase II trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy of MM-121 in combination with Taxol versus Taxol alone in 223 patients enrolled in the US and Europe. The primary endpoint of the trial is progression-free survival (PFS). Merrimack expects that top-line data from the phase II trial will be released in the second half of 2013.

MM-121 is also being evaluated for other oncology indications including hormone sensitive breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and HER2 negative neoadjuvant breast cancer.

We note that Merrimack and Sanofi inked an exclusive global licensing agreement in Oct 2009 for the development and co-commercialization of MM-121. Under the terms of the agreement, for each indication, Merrimack will be responsible for the development of MM-121 till phase II proof-of-concept. Thereafter Sanofi will take up development and commercialization activities. Merrimack has the right to co-promote MM-121in the US, following its approval.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the short run, while Merrimack carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Right now, Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) looks more attractive in the pharma space with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

H-P Focuses on Analytics Business

After strengthening its position in the personal computing, server and cloud computing segments, HP Enterprise Management & Analytics, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), has recently rolled out a service specially targeted at its enterprise clients. The service is intended to manage and evaluate the Big Data generated by them.

This is a new line of business for HP, which will help it generate additional revenue, as it has the potential to improve efficiency, reduce risk and lower the cost structure of customers.

After a detailed research of the information and data analysis market, HP found that more than one out of two business executives of different companies were of the opinion that their organizations did not have the tools to glean business insights from the huge amounts of data they were generating. This prompted HP to develop technology that could help companies discover this information.

The study also found that companies have lacked the expertise and strategy to properly manage their database.

HP has understood the fact that with better management and analysis of data, companies can efficiently manage their customers. After identifying this spot, HP seeks to address the situation with new solutions.  

As per a recent research report published by the technology research firm Gartner, the global analytics and business intelligence market is expected to grow 7.0% in 2013. Though this growth rate seems decent, it is low compared with the 16.0% growth estimated for 2011. While analyzing the growth rate, we have to keep in mind the recent recessionary phase, which the world economy is going through.

Gartner also expects the growth rate to remain in the single-digit range for the next few years. At the end of 2013, the analytics and business intelligence market will remain at $14 billion and grow to $17 billion by 2016.

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