The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Celgene, Pharmacyclics, Geron, Incyte and Infinity Pharmaceuticals

Dec 19, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 the Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG-Free Report), Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq: PCYC-Free Report), Geron (Nasdaq: GERN-Free Report), Incyte (Nasdaq: INCY-Free Report) and Infinity Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: INFI-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Biotech Stock Roundup

Last week was dominated by updates and data presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). The meeting, which kicked off over the weekend, continued into the first two days of last week. Companies that were in the limelight thanks to encouraging data include Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG-Free Report), Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq: PCYC-Free Report) and Geron (Nasdaq: GERN-Free Report).

CELG Gains on Blood Cancer Data: Celgene's shares inched up 2.15% on data presented by the company at ASH on its cancer treatment, Revlimid. Phase III data showed that continuous treatment with Revlimid + low-dose dexamethasone significantly improved progression free survival compared with the standard therapy - melphalan, prednisone and thalidomide. The study is being conducted in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients.

It is highly anticipated that the recently released data will help establish Revlimid as a standard for the continuous treatment of multiple myeloma patients. This would allow Celgene to rake in additional sales from Revlimid, which is already a blockbuster ($2.8 billion sales in the first nine months of 2013).

Others at ASH: There was huge attendance at ASH with several companies providing an update on their pipeline candidates as well as approved products. Pharmacyclics' Imbruvica, which was approved recently, attracted a lot of interest with the company coming up with 40 clinical, non-clinical and pre-clinical presentations.

Incyte (Nasdaq: INCY-Free Report) was also there with more than 35 analyses from studies conducted on Jakafi. Incyte also presented encouraging interim data on its oral JAK1 inhibitor, INCB39110.

Meanwhile, Geron presented data on its sole pipeline candidate, imetelstat, at ASH. Results from a Mayo Clinic study showed that 5 out of 22 patients experienced partial or complete remissions. 40.9% of the patients responded to the treatment. The data's encouraging but the patient population is pretty small. So it remains to be seen whether Geron will move ahead with a larger study.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: INFI-Free Report) presented phase I data on its chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) candidate, IPI-145, which was found to be highly active in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL – nodal response rate was 89% and overall response rate was 48%. IPI-145 is currently in a phase III study and has also shown evidence that it can be active in other types of blood cancer including advanced T-cell lymphomas.

 Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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