Big Pharma Outlook

Does the thought of raking leaves and covering the patio furniture make you sick? Well, you might be happy to hear that drug maker Eli Lilly is up 10% year to date. But, does your medicine cabinet hold a prescription to profits?

Eli Lilly President & COO John Lechleiter joins the panel for this conversation. Here are excerpts from what was said.

How strong is your pipeline relative to past years?

“Pipelines tend to go in waves,” says Lechleiter. “We introduced 9 new products between 2001- 2005 and we see that next wave in the pipeline developing. But before that gets here we have some exciting opportunities like Prasugrel a platelet aggregation blocker that we’ve just compared to Plavix.”

He adds “And we have an inhaled form of insulin in phase 3 development as well as a follow–up on an osteoporosis drug that we hope will be better than Avista.”

He also says “Beyond that we aim to bring as many as 15 new drugs into clinical development this year and another 15 next year -- and several of those tackle Alzheimer’s disease.”

How big do you believe the Alzheimer’s market to be?

“I think it’s substantial,” says Lechleiter. “We haven’t found the key yet to preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. (But we’re working on drugs) that take two separate approaches.”

What’s the time frame?

One of the drugs will enter phase 3 early next year and I can’t speculate when the other will enter phase 3 but they represent 2 of our most attractive opportunities,” explains Lechleiter.

Do you expect to see a meaningful move up in stock price in anticipation of the pipeline?

“It’s difficult to say," replies Lechleiter. “I think investors take note when we generate phase 2 data and phase 3 data...”

What blockbuster drug do you have coming to market?

“I think Prasugrel..” says Lechleiter. “We don’t know the results yet, but if we are able to demonstrate clear superiority (to Plavix) that has the potential to be a blockbuster. “The other one is inhaled insulin.”

Dylan Ratigan asks the panel what they think of Eli Lilly stock.

They all say it’s a buy.

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