This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Biotech Stock Mailbag: Antares Pharma, NewLink, Celgene


Antares has been less flinty with data from a couple of studies comparing Otrexup to methotrexate pills. These studies show patients can cross over from pills to Otrexup without significant problems and that Otrexup can maintain higher blood levels of methotrexate than pills. What's missing from these studies are data correlating higher blood levels of drug to better outcomes for patients. Antares has no efficacy data in rheumatoid arthritis comparing Otrexup to either oral or conventionally injected methotrexate. The company is assuming FDA will simply infer clinical efficacy of Otrexup from the precedent set by "regular" methotrexate.

The company has also conducted studies showing rheumatoid arthritis patients are capable of learning how to use the Otrexup self-injector device without significant problems.

The regulatory bar for Otrexup over which Antares needs to jump shouldn't be very high. Injectable methotrexate is approved already; the only thing Antares is doing is putting that methotrexate inside a fancy self-injector device. If Antares did its homework, Otrexup should be approved on Oct. 14. The risk for investors is having to trust Antares' clinical work without much independent verification.

Assuming Otrexup is approved, Antares intends to sell the drug in the U.S. on its own. Antares has no experience marketing a drug, nor does it have a commercial team in place. Covering the relatively small community of U.S. rheumatologists isn't hard, convincing them to prescribe your drug is. There are some theoretical cost advantages to using Otrexup (no price disclosed yet, but probably around $4,000 per year) because you'd be delaying the use of expensive biologic therapies that cost about $25,000 per year.

Antares is likely to face skepticism from all sides. Doctors won't have any efficacy data on Otrexup so may not rush to prescribe. Insurance companies could be slow to accept Otrexup because it will cost more than generic methotrexate, even if biologic therapy is delayed. (But for how long?)

And don't discount the opposition marketing that will rain down on Antares from Abbvie, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson if they feel like their blockbuster biologics are being threatened.

2 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs