Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX) Launches SILIQ Injection in the U.S.


Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) announced the launch of SILIQ™ (brodalumab) Injection during the Summer American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) meeting taking place in New York from July 27-30 , 2017. SILIQ, a monoclonal antibody that targets the IL-17 receptor A, is indicated for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy and have failed to respond or have lost response to other systemic therapies.

“With the availability of SILIQ, physicians have a novel, efficacious  treatment option for their adult patients who suffer from moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, which can be a truly debilitating, incurable condition,” said Joseph C. Papa , chairman and CEO, Valeant. “Additionally, Valeant has priced SILIQ as the lowest-priced injectable biologic psoriasis treatment in the United States and will work closely with payers to ensure patients have the best possible access to this important new treatment option.”

SILIQ has a Black Box Warning for risks of suicidal ideation and behavior. SILIQ was approved with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) involving a one-time enrollment for physicians and one-time informed consent for patients. The most common adverse reactions were headache, arthralgia, fatigue, oropharyngeal pain and diarrhea. SILIQ is contraindicated in patients with Crohn’s disease. Suicidal ideation and behavior have occurred in patients treated with SILIQ.  Serious infections have occurred, therefore caution should be exercised when considering the use of SILIQ in patients with a chronic infection or a history of recurrent infection. Patients should be evaluated for tuberculosis infection prior to initiating treatment.

“As the first and only IL-17 receptor A blocker, SILIQ is the only product on the market that demonstrated 100 percent improvement in the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI 100) during the clinical trials as a primary endpoint. In the three clinical trials that have been completed, more than 50 percent of patients who used SILIQ achieved total skin clearance within a year,” noted Lawrence J. Green , M.D., assistant clinical professor of Dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. “For my patients that have been suffering with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, having SILIQ as an accessible treatment option will make a difference in their day-to-day lives.”

Valeant also announced today that its dermatology unit will be renamed Ortho Dermatologics, effective immediately, under the new senior leadership team lead by Bill Humphries , executive vice president and company group chairman, Ortho Dermatologics.

“The launch of SILIQ is a fitting demonstration of our dermatologic innovation and strong commitment to physicians and their patients. Not only are we bringing a product to market that fulfills a significant unmet medical need, but the pricing of SILIQ continues to show our commitment to making our medicines affordable for the patients who need them,” said Humphries. “Historically, Ortho Dermatologics was known for high connectivity and partnership with physicians throughout their entire career, and we look forward to continuing to build upon this long-standing legacy.”

Shares of Valeant are up nearly 2% to $18.15 in pre-market trading. VRX has a 1-year high of $32.75 and a 1-year low of $8.31. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $15.69 and its 200-day moving average is $13.32.

On the ratings front, Valeant has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 25, BMO analyst Joanne Wuensch reiterated a Hold rating on VRX, with a price target of $15, which represents a potential downside of 16% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on July 19, Stifel Nicolaus’ Annabel Samimy reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $35.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joanne Wuensch and Annabel Samimy have a yearly average return of 11.5% and 12.2% respectively. Wuensch has a success rate of 76% and is ranked #145 out of 4160 analysts, while Samimy has a success rate of 55% and is ranked #368.

Sentiment on the street is mostly neutral on VRX stock. Out of 15 analysts who cover the stock, 9 suggest a Hold rating , 3 suggest a Sell and 3 recommend to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $17.50, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. engages in the development, manufacture, and market of a broad range of pharmaceutical products in the areas of dermatology, gastrointestinal disorders, eye health, neurology and branded generics. It operates through the following segments: The Bausch + Lomb/International, The Branded Rx, and The U.S. Diversified products. The Bausch + Lomb/International segment is consist of the sale of pharmaceutical products, over-the-counter products, and medical devices products. The Branded Rx segment is comprised of pharmaceutical products related to the Salix product portfolio; dermatological product portfolio; branded pharmaceutical products, branded generic pharmaceutical products; over-the-counter products; medical device products; Bausch + Lomb products sold in Canada; and the oncology, dentistry, and health products for women. The U.S. Diversified Products segment is the sales in the U.S. of pharmaceutical products, over-the-counter products, and medical device products in the areas of neurology and certain other therapeutics classes, including aesthetics and generic products in the U.S.