The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Merck and Johnson & Johnson

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Merck and
                              Johnson & Johnson

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2012

CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO), Sanofi
(NYSE:SNY), Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).


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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Novo Progresses with Pipeline

Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) recently completed a phase IIIa study on IDegLira,
which is a combination of Tresiba (insulin degludec) and Victoza
(liraglutide). Novo Nordisk is evaluating IDegLira for the treatment of
patients suffering from type II diabetes.

The phase III study (DUAL II) enrolled around 400 patients suffering from type
II diabetes and previously insufficiently controlled on basal insulin in
combination with 1–2 oral anti-diabetic agents. The study results showed that
patients treated with IDegLira or Tresiba plus metformin achieved superiority
compared to standalone therapy with Tresiba.

The study revealed that around 60% of the patients who used IDegLira achieved
the HbA1c target of 7% (recommended by the American Diabetes Association and
the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). Moreover, 45% of the
patients reached the HbA1c target of 6.5% (recommended by the American Academy
of Clinical Endocrinology).

Both IDegLira and Tresiba have been reported safe and tolerable. Novo Nordisk
did not report any disparity between the two treatment arms as to adverse
reactions and normal safety parameters.

We note that Novo Nordisk had announced results from the first phase IIIa
trial of IDegLira, DUAL I, in August this year, which demonstrated an
impressive efficacy profile. Novo Nordisk now plans to file regulatory
applications in both the US and the EU in 2013.

Although Novo Nordisk holds a strong position in the diabetes market, we note
that the diabetes market is highly crowded with players like Sanofi
(NYSE:SNY), Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) and Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

We have an Outperform recommendation on Denmark-based Novo Nordisk. The stock
carries a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy). Other large cap pharma company, that carry a
Zacks #2 Rank  is Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

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