Swiss drug maker Novartis AG (ADR)(NYSE:NVS) is on investors’ radar after several positive news and consecutive upbeat quarterly results. The stock is up over 16% since the start of 2017. There are several factors which make Novartis a strong Buy in 2017.
Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) segment Alcon which was set to be sold by the company surprised investors with a excellent growth in the second quarter. Surgical equipment segment, which is a viral part of Alcon, grew by 3%. The results don’t mean that Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) will call off its plans to sell Alcon. But after the signs of growth, Novartis is now in a position to ask for top price for this business.
Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) drug Entresto and Cosentyx also performed well in the quarter, and the company is hopeful to achieve the sales target of $500 million and $2 billion for Entresto and Cosentyx respectively in fiscal 2017. Entresto got off to a slow start, and Novartis recently warned that it expects almost no growth for the drug in 2017, but the treatment will get fame in the near future, especially in Europe. A survey shows that Entresto has the potential to drive heart failure market to $16 billion within 10 years because it unlocks a new world of treatment previously untouched. The drug was not well known in its early stages because doctors around the world were hesitant to prescribe the new market entrant to heart patients.
Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) pipeline remains decent. In the second quarter earnings call, Novartis said that it got 14 new approvals, 5 filings and 9 initial clinical trial results in a three-month period, which is impressive to say the least. Investors have high hopes from RTH258 (ophthalmology) and ACZ885 (cardiovascular), as these drugs have performed exceptionally well in Phase-III trials. ACZ885 has a huge potential as the industry is devoid of drugs to treat inflammation caused by heart problems.
Analysts also expects Cosentyx sales growth in the future, and there are strong indications that Novartis will get IL-17 class soon.
Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) also reported a big win recently when an FDA panel recommended the company’s cell therapy for cancer patients to move to for a final approval process. CAR-T therapy is a first of its kind cancer medicine targeted to treat leukemia in children. The drug modifies a patient’s immune cells to locate and destroy cancer. FDA is expected to approve the drug in October.