Wachovia Downgrades OSI Pharmaceuticals

Analyst George Farmer sees competitive pressure for the company's Tarceva drug

Wachovia downgraded OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP ) to underperform from market perform.

Analyst George Farmer tells salesforce despite providing overall survival benefit in NSCLC registration trial supporting last week's Tarceva approval, he believes variables concerning smoking history, tumor histology, and degrees of EGFR expression should effect physician bias. He says supportive data illustrated in the package insert indicates to him a similar concern by the FDA.

In addition to the concerns, he expects additional competitive pressure from the equivalent Iressa, and the more tolerable Alimta. He notes the Tarceva price tag is 20% below his estimate, and OSI Pharmaceutical gets a 50% net profit from the U.S. sales of drug.

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