Ahead of the Bell: Celgene shares see small rally

The Associated Press

Celgene edged higher before markets opened Thursday, a day after the drug developer's stock slid on the release of a report in Europe regarding its cancer treatment Revlimid.

A report from the European Medicines Agency suggested more data may be needed before Revlimid can be considered as a front-line treatment for multiple myeloma, William Blair analyst John Sonnier said in a research note.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that affects plasma cells in bone marrow.

Celgene recorded $934 million in revenue from Revlimid in the second quarter, a 17 percent increase compared to last year, driven in part by market share gains and a geographic expansion.

Sonnier said four trials are in progress to study Revlimid as a front-line treatment for multiple myeloma, and updated results from a study of about 450 people expected by the end of the year may offer some clarity.

"We believe this data could help clarify the potential for Revlimid as a front-line agent in multiple myeloma and could help define Celgene's future regulatory plans with Revlimid in Europe," Sonnier wrote.

The analyst added that he believed Wednesday's sell-off of Celgene shares was overdone "given the compelling benefit/risk profile with Revlimid."

Shares in the Summit, N.J., company climbed 3 cents to $77.39 Thursday in premarket trading after falling 3 percent on Wednesday