Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC) has been a good company to invest in, especially if you had bought shares back in 2009 when it traded around $1 per share. That’s not to say it is too late, because this biotech company still has a lot of room to run higher. The reason for the continued run up will be the pipeline that continues to produce results. All of the candidates in the sector have shown great results to date, and will continue to do so as the pipeline progresses.
Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC) doesn’t currently have any FDA-approved drugs on the market, but the current share price is around $106 per share, and one analyst, Baird, currently has a price target of $120 per share. This price valuation is taking into consideration the future sales of Ibrutinib. Projected sales will be around $1.2 billion by the year 2018, which is why a long term hold on this stock will be worth it.
Momentum that keeps going
The main reason for Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC)’ run higher has been one of its main drugs, Ibrutinib. Ibrutinib is being used in many trials to target different types of B-cell malignancies. These types of malignancies include chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Mantle Cell Lymphoma, multiple Myeloma, and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. The company also has other trial candidates for pancreatic cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. As you can see, the pipeline is huge, but Ibrutinib is the key to the company.
Why focus on Ibrutinib? Quite simply, the company has run two phase 2 trials on Ibrutinib, both with good results. Also, a very important aspect of this company is that it doesn’t have to run a phase 3 trial for Ibrutinib because Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC) has received “breakthrough therapy designation.” This is a new rule by the FDA to get to new drugs for life threatening diseases on the market quicker. In light of this, both Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Pharmacyclics have filed an NDA, or New Drug Application, with the FDA for Ibrutinib. Analysts predict that Ibrutinib could reach annual sales of $4 billion dollars.
Acquisition in the making
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) could possibly acquire Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC) because both companies are already partnered for the drug. Also, it could help Johnson & Johnson add to its very small pipeline of cancer drugs. For instance, the company only has Zytiga for prostate cancer, and adding a pipeline of more drug candidates that fight cancer might be a good idea.
Zytiga has done well so far in the market, so much so that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) had surprised analysts with a huge boost in revenue from Zytiga. The company stated that Zytiga had earned $344 million in the first quarter, which was well above analyst estimates. With this successful prostate cancer franchise, and a possible addition of Pharmacyclics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYC), Johnson & Johnson should see some nice revenue numbers going forward.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) trades with a P/E ratio of 20, which is good for a biotech stock. Also, the company is expected to have growth of 7.2% this year, and 6.63% in 2014. With this growth over the next few years, and a pipeline with emerging drugs like Zytiga, Johnson & Johnson will continue to be a long-term hold for years to come.
Competitor in the way
As always in the biotech industry, when you have a drug candidate, it’s always possible to have a competing drug. This competitor is Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB). Biogen Idec also has a drug that targets Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, known as RITUXAN. The only difference, though, is that RITUXAN is combined with Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide to treat the disease. Also, RITUXAN is used to treat other conditions like non-hodgkins Lymphoma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.