Pfizer & Bristol-Myers to Release Highly Anticipated Data on Bloodthinner Hopeful

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Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb may be introducing the biggest selling bloodthinner in a $9 billion market, according to Reuters. This depends on final Phase III data of their drug apixaban (sold as Eliquis) to be released next week at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.

Headline results of the Phase III study released this June showed Eliquis was more effective and safer than the decades-old warfarin in preventing strokes in patients with irregular heart rhythms.

On August 28, the companies will release detailed data of the 18,000-patient clinical trial, which could indicate that Eliquis is the "first oral anticoagulant to show a statistically significant improvement in mortality over warfarin in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients," according to Reuters.

Analysts at Barclays believe that such data "would allow Eliquis to grab 50 percent of a likely $9 billion-a-year AF stroke prevention market by 2021."

"Industry analysts, on average, currently expect 2015 sales of $1.6 billion for the product, which is due to be submitted for regulatory approval this year," according to Thomson Reuters Pharma.

"Confirmation of strong efficacy and low bleeding risk could boost Bristol-Myers shares some 5 percent and lift Pfizer by 2-3 percent," Chris Schott of JP Morgan told Reuters.

Analysts estimate that the warfarin replacement market can be a $10-20 billion market, but that low-cost warfarin will not disappear because patients controlled on the medication would mostly stay on it.

The promise of Eliquis is certainly welcomed, considering that Bristol-Myers and Pfizer together face more than $30 billion in revenue loss through 2016 due to patent expires, according to Barclays.

Other drugs in the anticoagulant market are Xarelto from Bayer (BAYRY) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Pradaxa, sold by privately held Boehringer Ingelheim.

Do you think Eliquis will statistically best warfarin? Here we report interesting data on the stocks of companies listed in this article.

Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYS: BMY) : Drug Manufacturers Industry. Market cap of $47.55B. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 4.73%, current ratio at 1.99, and quick ratio at 1.79. The stock has gained 10.63% over the last year.

2. Pfizer (NYS: PFE) : Drug Manufacturers Industry. Market cap of $137.86B. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 4.53%, current ratio at 1.98, and quick ratio at 1.7. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.12%.

3. Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) : Drug Manufacturers Industry. Market cap of $173.03B. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 3.61%, current ratio at 2.51, and quick ratio at 2.2. The stock has gained 11.38% over the last year.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Kapitall's Alexander Crawford does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Data sourced from Finviz.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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