Sanofi SA (ADR) (SNY), Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): Healthier Days Loom as 3 Big Pharmas Move on Dengue Shots

Page 1 of 2

Mosquito bites sure suck, literally and figuratively. But more so if these are delivered by the insects’ female species, which cause viral infections. But forget malaria. It is dengue fever, also known as hemorrhagic fever, which now ranks as the world’s most virulent mosquito-borne viral disease, says the World Health Organization. Some 3 billion people in 100 countries, or roughly half of mankind, are estimated to be at risk of this disease, the incidence of which has grown 30-fold during the last 50 years.

Poised for gains from brewing remedies

The good news is, in about two years, the world will possibly have its first dengue vaccine. The big pharma Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) is now conducting two late-stage human testings involving some 45,000 participants in Asia and Latin America. The results are expected either late 2013 or in 2014.

In addition, there are other vaccine types in the most advanced stage of development. Phase I trial, for instance, has been completed on a vaccine developed by the privately held Hawaii Biotech. New Jersey-based Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) now owns the rights on this vaccine, which it acquired in 2010.

The U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSKis also in pursuit of a vaccine type similar to Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)’s. It has conducted several clinical studies on this vaccine, including those done in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Thailand. The company has also partnered with the Fiocruz, a Brazilian foundation, for the development and manufacturing of the vaccine for dengue in Brazil where this disease is a major health concern.

A prop-up for a weak quarter

Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)An advance in Glaxo’s pursuit of a dengue vaccine should provide tailwinds to the company, which has been reaping some negative market sentiment due to a recent bribery scandal in China and generics eating into its market share. Reporting a 4% core EPS gain on 2% sales growth in the second quarter, Glaxo acknowledged that the result of the bribery investigation is likely to impact its subsequent performance in China.

Certainly, a step up of the dengue vaccine in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s pipeline can also burnish this company’s allure among investors who were turned off recently by a staggering 48% drop in company earnings and 10% decline in revenue during the second quarter primarily due to competition from generics.

Like Glaxo and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) has also been feeling the pinch of generic competition. In the second quarter, sales lost to generics resulted in a 6.3% decline in Sanofi’s total sales and an 18.5% drop in business EPS.

Despite their recent weak results, a strong rebound from this triumvirate can’t be discounted. Besides their dengune vaccines under development, they also have other drugs in the pipeline which are potential earning catalysts.

For the near term, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) hopes to draw strength from about 40 drugs in its pipeline, out of which six are close to market launch. Just this July, the U.S. FDA has accepted the new drug application for Merck’s anti thrombotic candidate, vorapaxar, for standard testing. Speculations are also rife that the company is eyeing to bolster its product entries in the lucrative oncology medicines through an acquisition.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), for its part, flaunts new respiratory products coming onto the market, one of which is the recently FDA-approved Breo Ellipta, which analysts believe to have a peak potential of $1.3 billion sales in the U.S. alone. Likewise potent in earnings possibility is the company’s protein-based therapy, ofatumumab, for multiple sclerosis, now on Phase II trial.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

On the Move: The 10 Fastest Growing Businesses in 2015

Fast Money: The 10 Highest Paying Fast Food Restaurants

Mixing It Up: The 14 Best Music Mashups of 2014

Rito Pls Buff: The 10 Least Played Champions in LoL Season 4

10 Covers of Popular Songs that are Better than the Originals

Must See TV: The 9 Most Anticipated Shows of 2015

The 15 Biggest Box Office Bombs of All Time

10 Things The World Can’t Stand About Americans

Picture Perfect: The 6 Smartphones with the Best Cameras

The 10 Best Countries To Work In the World

A Profitable Day At The Track: 5 Tips For Betting On Horses

Tearing You Apart: 6 Bad Habits That Ruin Relationships

Learning on the Job: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Shopaholics Rejoice: The 12 Biggest Malls in the World

Fright Night: 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

Mach Mania: The 10 Fastest Jets in the World

Military Heavyweights: The 10 Countries with the Most Tanks

All In: The 7 Richest Poker Players in the World

Abracadabra: The 10 Best Magicians in the World

The 10 Richest Asian Countries in the World in 2014

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

The Top 10 Richest Actors in the World

The 10 Best Airline Stocks to Invest In Before They Fly Too High

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!