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Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AEGR), Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA): Investment Opportunities in Drug Launches

The Epic trial, which pits Iclusig against Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS)‘ Gleevec in patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia, is expected to complete enrollment by the end of the year and read out the primary endpoint a year later. Gleevec — to give some context on Iclusig’s potential — racked up $4.7 billion in sales last year.

Best investment opportunity?
Of the four companies, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) looks like the best bet to me. I have no doubt that Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) can get Iclusig to blockbuster status, but at a market cap of $3 billion, there are a lot of sales already priced in. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR), by contrast, is only a $1.7 billion company. The potential market for Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)’s and VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)’s obesity drugs is probably the largest of the three, but they’re also the most risky; it could take years for the companies to change the prescription habits of doctors and convince most insurers to cover the drugs.

The article Investment Opportunities in Drug Launches originally appeared on is written by Brian Orelli.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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