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Lilly, Boehringer to Expand Jardiance Heart Failure Program


Eli Lilly and Company LLY and Boehringer Ingelheim announced plans to expand the clinical program for their SGLT2 inhibitor Jardiance (empagliflozin) in chronic heart failure through the EMPERIAL clinical trials.

Lilly’s shares have lost 7.1% over a year against the industry’s upside of 8.4%.

The EMPERIAL clinical trials, comprising two phase III studies, are aimed at assessing possible benefits of Lilly’s type II diabetes drug Jardiance on improving exercise capacity and heart failure symptoms in people with chronic heart failure irrespective of whether they have type II diabetes

We remind investors that in late 2016, FDA approved a new indication for the drug to lower the risk of cardiovascular death in adults with type II diabetes. The approval was based on data from the EMPA-REG OUTCOME study. With the inclusion of the cardiovascular indication in Jardiance’s label in 2017, there has been a surge in sales of the drug. The EMPERIAL clinical studies are based on data obtained from the EMPA-REG OUTCOME study effect of Jardiance on heart failure outcomes.

Meanwhile, Jardiance is already being evaluated two phase III EMPEROR studies (outcomes studies) of Jardiance for the treatment of chronic heart failure in patients with and without diabetes.

Though the EMPEROR studies focus on long-term morbidity and mortality outcomes in people with heart failure, the EMPERIAL studies will investigate if treatment with Jardiance can help improve the everyday lives of people with chronic heart failure

According to the company’s press release, heart failure is a serious condition and it affects 26 million people worldwide, including more than 6 million Americans, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Both Lilly and Boehringer are looking for ways to see how Jardiance can improve patient health outcomes.

Jardiance sales rose 122% to $447.5 million in 2017, driven by increased market share within the growing SGLT2 class in the United States and increased volume outside the United States.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Lilly carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the same space are Regeneron REGN, Ligand Pharmaceuticals LGNDand Enanta Pharma ENTA. While Regeneronand Ligandsport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Enanta Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), each. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from $17.13 to $18.65 and from $20.37 to $21.56 for 2018 and 2019, respectively in the last 30 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 9.15%.

Ligand’s earnings per share estimates have moved up $3.54 to $4.15 from $4.75 to $5.75 for 2018 and 2019, respectively over the last 30 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprises in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 24.88%. The company’s shares have rallied 57.2% over a year.

Enanta Pharma delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 373.1%. The company’s shares surged 181.2% over a year.

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