The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Genomic Health, Sanofi, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Amgen and Isis Pharmaceuticals

     The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Genomic Health, Sanofi, Regeneron
               Pharmaceuticals, Amgen and Isis Pharmaceuticals

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 16, 2013

CHICAGO, May 16, 2013 /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 Genomic Health Inc.
(Nasdaq:GHDX), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq:REGN), Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq:AMGN) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Much-Awaited Test Launch from Genomic

Recently, Genomic Health Inc. (Nasdaq:GHDX) made available its lead pipeline
candidate Oncotype DX prostate cancer test to physicians and their patients.
This comes as a major boost to the company as its effort to launch the test by
the second quarter of 2013 (ending Jun 30, 2013) paid off.

The launch of the prostate cancer test, developed in collaboration with
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Cleveland Clinic was based
on the disclosure of positive clinical validation study at the 2013 American
Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting in San Diego. Besides clinical
elements such as PSA and biopsy Gleason Score, the results from the clinical
validation study affirm that Genomic's test can predict the aggressiveness of
the cancer in patients.

As a prognostic tool to assess prostate cancer aggressiveness, Genomic's
Oncotype DX prostate cancer test estimates the level of expression of 17 genes
across four biological pathways. The outcome of the tests is reported as
Genomic Prostate Score (GPS), ranging from 0 to 100. In conjunction with other
clinical factors, the GPS can estimate the patient's risk before the treatment
intervention. Further, the outcome of the test can improve standards of care
by helping patients to choose the right treatment on the basis of individual
risk assessment.

Also, the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test is the most innovative multi-gene
test to oversee treatment selection using the prostate needle biopsy sample
taken before the prostate is removed. This helps low-risk patients erode
invasive treatments like radical prostatectomy or radiation. Additionally,
most patients can evade unnecessary treatment and its potential side effects
and consider active surveillance treatment plan with routine check up.

Our Take

We are encouraged by the timely launch of Genomic's Oncotype DX prostate
cancer test. The commercialization of the prostate cancer test will allow the
company to serve a global market size of more than $1.6 billion.

Sanofi, Regeneron Commence Enrollment

Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:REGN)
recently announced that they started enrolling patients for two phase III
trials (SARIL-RA COMPARE and SARIL-RA ASCERTAIN) on their rheumatoid arthritis
(RA) candidate, sarilumab.

The 24-week, multi-center, randomized, double-blind and active-calibrator
SARIL-RA ASCERTAIN study (n = 200) will evaluate the safety and efficacy of
sarilumab and Actemra (tocilizumab) in combination with methotrexate (MTX) in
patients with RA who received inadequate treatment benefit from tumor necrosis
factor alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors.

Meanwhile, the multi-center, randomized, double-blind and active-control
SARIL-RA COMPARE trial will assess the safety and efficacy of sarilumab in
combination with MTX versus Amgen Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AMGN) Enbrel (etanercept).
The trial will enroll 700 patients suffering from moderate-to-severe RA who
demonstrated an insufficient response to Humira (adalimumab) as first
TNF-alpha inhibitor treatment.

We note that Sanofi and Regeneron are conducting a SARIL-RA phase III
development program to evaluate the use of sarilumab in the RA indication. The
program consists of five trials, namely, SARIL-RA MOBILITY, SARIL-RA TARGET,

SARIL-RA MOBILITY, the most advanced phase III trial in the SARIL-RA program,
has enrolled 1,197 patients. The data from the trial is expected to be
released in the first half of 2014.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Sanofi is looking to combat the generic
threat confronting most of its key drugs by signing deals and making
acquisitions. We are pleased with Sanofi's efforts to develop its pipeline and
believe that newly approved products in Sanofi's portfolio hold huge
commercial potential.

Stocks that look better placed at present include Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq:ISIS), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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