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Express Scripts’ Accredo & Akcea Tie Up to Distribute TEGSEDI


Express Scripts Holding Company’s ESRX Accredo specialty pharmacy is currently working with Akcea Therapeutics to distribute TEGSEDI subcutaneous injection for the treatment of the polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis in adults. This is likely to fortify Express Scripts’ position in the generic drugs market. Per Express Scripts’ management, TEGSEDI is expected to reduce administration costs and drug wastage.

Accredo is an Express Scripts specialty pharmacy which serves patients with complex and chronic health conditions, including cancer, hepatitis C and HIV. It provides complete coordination of care between the medical benefit, pharmacy benefit and physicians.

Notably, shares of the Missouri-based pharmacy benefit manager inched up 0.6% to $96.03 at close. Over the past year, shares of Express Scripts have rallied 62.2% compared with the industry's 39.9%. The current level is also higher than the S&P 500 index’s 13.8% rise.

The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).


TEGSEDI is the world’s first and only subcutaneous RNA-targeting, FDA-approved drug developed by California-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals, to treat nerve damage caused by hATTR. The drug recently received approval in Canada. Earlier this year, TEGSEDI received marketing authorization approval from the European Commission.

For investors’ notice, Akcea Therapeutics is a subsidiary of Ionis.

Market Prospects

Going by a Pharmaceutical Technology report, hATTR amyloidosis affects approximately 50,000 people worldwide in a year.

Leading market research company IMARC opines that the global generic drugs market is projected to reach a value of $474 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.8%. An increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s currently fuel market growth.

Hence the latest move has been a well-timed one for Express Scripts.

Other Services in Focus

Express Scripts provides a full range of services to clients, which include health maintenance organizations (HMOs), health insurers and third-party administrators.

Some of the products that deserve a special mention are SafeGuardRx and Multiple Sclerosis Care Value Program. In fact, the company expects solid demand for SafeGuardRx and Accredo in 2018.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Intuitive Surgical ISRG, Masimo Corp. MASI and Veeva Systems VEEV.

Intuitive Surgical has an expected long-term earnings growth of 14.7%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Masimo’s long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 14.8%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Veeva Systems’ long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 19.3%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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