Celgene International Sàrl, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), today announced that the latest research on Otezla® (apremilast), the Company’s oral, selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), will be presented at the 24th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 7-11, 2015. Nine abstracts (one oral presentation and eight e-posters) evaluating the use of OTEZLA in plaque psoriasis and pre-clinical data in atopic dermatitis will be presented at the meeting.

Data to be presented include pre-specified analyses of the LIBERATE study assessing the impact of either oral OTEZLA 30 mg twice daily or weekly subcutaneous (SC) etanercept 50 mg, each compared with placebo, on changes in patient-reported pruritus (itching) and health-related quality of life through 32 weeks of treatment in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Efficacy and safety results from the LIBERATE study were previously presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in San Francisco, California. LIBERATE was not designed or powered to directly compare OTEZLA to etanercept.

A retrospective analysis of results from the ESTEEM 1 trial will examine the potential of an alternate tool to measure psoriasis disease severity, particularly in patients with moderate psoriasis. This composite tool, called Physician’s Global Assessment and Body Surface Area (PGAxBSA), will be compared with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) in its ability to measure the effect of treatment with OTEZLA in patients with plaque psoriasis. Improvement in PASI scores is a measurement typically used in registrational trials to examine the effectiveness of plaque psoriasis treatments.

Results from pre-clinical studies assessing the potential of apremilast, the active ingredient in OTEZLA, as a treatment for atopic dermatitis will also be presented. The data will evaluate the effect of apremilast on gene expression in human epidermal keratinocytes (skin cells) that have been stimulated by T helper 2 (Th2) and Th17 cytokines – proteins thought to be associated with skin inflammation. The impact of apremilast treatment on gene expression and skin symptoms in two mouse models of dermatitis will also be investigated. A phase II trial of apremilast in moderate to severe atopic dermatitis is ongoing.

“New data to be presented at EADV will not only further evaluate OTEZLA’s clinical benefit in plaque psoriasis, but also highlight our ongoing commitment to uncovering the potential of OTEZLA in other immune-related dermatologic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis,” said Scott Smith, President, Celgene Inflammation & Immunology. “Furthermore, we are eager to assess the use of alternative endpoints in patients with moderate plaque psoriasis, for which PASI may be a less sensitive measure.” (Original Source)

Shares of Celgene Corporation closed yesterday at $117.97. CELG has a 1-year high of $140.72 and a 1-year low of $83.16. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $117.76 and its 200-day moving average is $119.08.

On the ratings front, Celgene has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 1, J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov upgraded CELG to Buy, with a price target of $152, which represents a potential upside of 28.8% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 1, Raymond James’ Christopher Raymond initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock .

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Cory Kasimov and Christopher Raymond have a total average return of -4.8% and 46.4% respectively. Kasimov has a success rate of 36.8% and is ranked #3578 out of 3772 analysts, while Raymond has a success rate of 81.0% and is ranked #16.

The street is mostly Bullish on CELG stock. Out of 12 analysts who cover the stock, 10 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $162.60, which implies an upside of 37.8% from current levels.

Celgene Corp is a biopharmaceutical company. It is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies designed to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory related diseases.