Send me real-time posts from this site at my email
Motley Fool

Good News for Amarin: AstraZeneca Abandoning its Fish Oil Pill

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) announced on Monday that it was discontinuing the phase 3 Strength clinical study evaluating Epanova in reducing cardiovascular risk. The British drugmaker said that the decision was made after the study's independent data monitoring committee determined that there was a "low likelihood" that Epanova would help patients with mixed dyslipidemia (MDL) who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.

A troubled history

Epanova won U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2014 for treating adult patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, a condition where patients have triglyceride levels of at least 500 mg/dL. AstraZeneca picked up the drug in 2013 with its acquisition of Omthera Pharmaceuticals.

Image source: Getty Images.

But Epanova faced intense competition from several other prescription fish-oil drugs on the market. It also faced legal challenges, with Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN) suing AstraZeneca over alleged patent infringements. Further, Epanova didn't become a commercial success. The drug's sales were never high enough to even warrant a mention in any of AstraZeneca's annual regulatory filings.

AstraZeneca undertook the large-scale STRENGTH study in hopes that it could position Epanova as a drug that could reduce cardiovascular risk. The drugmaker enrolled 13,086 patients at 675 sites in 22 countries. However, the discontinuation of the study means that Epanova won't become the big winner AstraZeneca hoped it would be.

Good news for Amarin

The bad news for Epanova was good news for Amarin. The drugmaker received FDA approval in December 2019 for an updated label for Vascepa indicating that it reduces cardiovascular risk. Analysts expect Vascepa will generate blockbuster sales with this new label -- and it now won't face competition from AstraZeneca.

10 stocks we like better than AstraZeneca
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and AstraZeneca wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of December 1, 2019

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Source

Popular posts

Welcome!!! Is it your First time here?

What are you looking for? Select your points of interest to improve your first-time experience:

Apply & Continue