Sanofi SA (SNY) & ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS) Out-Limbo Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AEGR) in HoFH

Page 1 of 2

I was admittedly never very good when it came to limbo because I’m not very flexible and I’m all legs. Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) and ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS) , however, rocked the limbo bar like a champ last week following the approval of homozygous familiar hypercholesterolemia, or HoFH, drug, Kynamro.

It was somewhat of a toss-up whether Kynamro would get the nod of approval from the Food and Drug Administration because — in addition to the same liver toxicities noted in competing drug Juxtapid, made by Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) and approved in December — Kynamro’s trials also included abnormal growths known as neoplasms in 3.1% of all patients tested. Ultimately, with few options for suffers of the high-cholesterol disease, the benefits were seen to outweigh the risks, and Kynamro was approved.

Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)What’s really worth noting is Sanofi’s pricing of the drug. As cited by the Wall Street Journal, Aegerion’s CEO, Mark Beer, went on the record noting that a full-year’s treatment of the pill will run $235,000 to $295,000 depending on the stage of the disease. But as I mentioned earlier, Sanofi and Isis broke out the limbo bar and one-upped, or should I say, one-downed, Aegerion by pricing their injectable HoFH treatment at a cost of $176,000 per year.

Understandably, there are some marked differences between the two drugs. Juxtapid is a pill that received far less scrutiny by the FDA panel as was evidenced by the vote of 13-2 to recommend approval. Kynamro must be injected, and those aforementioned neoplasms resulted in a not-so-convincing FDA panel vote for recommendation of just 9-6. But is this a $59,000-$119,000 difference? I’m not so sure!

We’ve seen a major backlash from physicians and patients in recent years if insurability or reimbursement is an issue. It’s one of the primary reasons Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ:DNDN)‘s advanced-stage prostate cancer treatment Provenge failed to take off. At $93,000 for a full course of treatments, few insurers stepped up to the plate. Only recently has Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) lightened its stance on who’s covered to take Provenge, yet the qualifying factors list is still pretty extensive.

Pricing has even affected relatively low-cost drugs like VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)‘ newly approved chronic weight management drug, Qsymia. VIVUS’ chief commercial officer, Mike Miller, had noted previously that up to 30% of all early Qsymia prescriptions were being left at the pharmacy because the cost of the medication was coming directly out of patients’ pockets. It wasn’t until November when Aetna announced coverage of Qsymia and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)‘ Belviq that sales of Qsymia began to ramp up.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
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

The 9 Most Dangerous Countries for Tourists to Visit

Reign of Terror: The 10 Most Ruthless Politicians in History

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

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!