Healthcare industry companies make news when they report strong financial results. They attract even greater attention when they announce positive test results or approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or similar agencies from around the world.
In recent months, Wall Street focused its attention on Biogen Inc and Eisai after they announced that their potential treatment for Alzheimer’s, Lecanemab, slowed cognitive decline by 27%, compared to a placebo, after an 18-month Phase 3 clinical trial.1
Eisai is expected to share additional data on the drug in late November at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Congress in San Francisco, after which, the drug will be filed for full approval in the U.S. by March of 2023.2
Biogen, which has a 50/50 profit sharing stake in Lecanemab, is preparing its commercial and manufacturing facilities in Switzerland for launch should the drug be prepared.
COMPANY SPECIFIC UPDATES
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co announced positive topline results from its COMMANDS Phase 3 study of its blood disease drug Reblozyl. The Phase 3 study found that Reblozyl helped adult patients with very low, low, or intermediate risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) better than an older anemia treatment.3
The positive results are a sign that Bristol-Myers is looking to expand the use of the drug, which it says could reach sales of $4 billion annually. Reblozyl is actually just one of eight new drugs that Bristol-Myers says will achieve combined sales of $25 billion in 2029.4
Gilead Sciences has made a number of significant announcements lately. The company recently reported that its personalized cancer drugs, Yescarta and Tecartus, have been approved for sale in Europe by the European Commission for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.5
In the opening days of November, Gilead announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the supplemental new drug application for Vemlidy which is used for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus Infection in pediatric patients 12 years of age and older.6
This approval expands on previous FDA approval of Vemlidy in adults living with this chronic liver disease.
Investing in Healthcare with LIFE ETF
The Evolve Global Healthcare Enhanced Yield Fund (LIFE ETF) provides investors with exposure to twenty global blue-chip healthcare companies with a covered call strategy that is actively managed to provide increased yield potential while helping mitigate risk. The LIFE ETF is available in hedged, unhedged and USD classes.
Managed by an established team of industry veterans with a proven track record of success, Evolve ETFs creates investment products that make a difference. For more information, please visit www.evolveetfs.com or download our one-pager about LIFE ETF.
LIFE ETF PORTFOLIO STRATEGY AND ACTIVITY
For the month, Eli Lily and Company made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, and Merk & Co. Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Medtronic PLC, followed by CSL LTD, and AstraZeneca PLC. On last rebalance, these securities were added to the portfolio: Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Stryker Corp. By weight, the Fund’s largest geographic exposure was to the United States, followed by Switzerland and Germany.
For the latest information on investing in healthcare and updates on related investment products, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.
- “Lecanemab Confirmatory Phase 3 Clarity Ad Study Met Primary Endpoint, Showing Highly Statistically Significant Reduction Of Clinical Decline In Large Global Clinical Study Of 1,795 Participants With Early Alzheimer’s Disease,” Biogen Inc., September 27, 2022; https://investors.biogen.com/news-releases/news-release-details/lecanemab-confirmatory-phase-3-clarity-ad-study-met-primary.
- Lee, J., “Biogen and Eisai make plans to take another Alzheimer’s drug to the FDA next year,” MarketWatch, October 26, 2022; https://www.marketwatch.com/story/biogen-and-eisai-make-plans-to-take-another-alzheimers-drug-to-the-fda-11666722397.
- “Bristol Myers Squibb Announces Positive Topline Results of Phase 3 COMMANDS Trial,” Bristol Myers Squibb, October 31, 2022; https://news.bms.com/news/corporate-financial/2022/Bristol-Myers-Squibb-Announces-Positive-Topline-Results-of-Phase-3-COMMANDS-Trial/default.aspx.
- “JP Morgan Presentation January 10, 2022,” Bristol Myers Squibb, last accessed November 4, 2022; https://s21.q4cdn.com/104148044/files/doc_presentations/2022/Bristol-Myers-Squibb-JPM-2022-Presentation.pdf.
- “Kite’s CAR T-cell Therapy Yescarta® Granted European Marketing Authorization for the Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Follicular Lymphoma,” Gilead Sciences, Inc., June 28, 2022; https://www.gilead.com/news-and-press/press-room/press-releases/2022/6/kites-car-t-cell-therapy-yescarta-granted-european-marketing-authorization-for-the-treatment-of-relapsed-or-refractory-follicular-lymphoma.
- “U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves Vemlidy® (tenofovir alafenamide) for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Pediatric Patients,” Gilead Sciences, Inc., November 2, 2022; https://www.gilead.com/news-and-press/press-room/press-releases/2022/11/us-food-and-drug-administration-approves-vemlidy-tenofovir-alafenamide-for-treatment-of-chronic-hepatitis-b-virus-infection-in-pediatric-patients.