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ChemoCentryx's (CCXI) Tavneos Aids Growth, Overdependence a Woe

ChemoCentryx CCXI is focused on developing and commercializing orally-administered medications targeted at autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer.

CCXI markets its lead candidate, avacopan, under the name Tavneos in the United States after gaining FDA approval in October 2021.

Tavneos is used as an adjunctive treatment combined with standard therapy for two forms of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis — granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). Avacopan enjoys a seven-year orphan drug marketing exclusive approval for Tavneos. Apart from the United States, Tavneos is also approved in Japan for a similar indication.

Earlier this year, Tavnoes received approval in the European Union (EU) as an adjunctive treatment combined with a rituximab or cyclophosphamide regimen for two main forms of ANCA-associated vasculitis — GPA and MPA. It received a regulatory nod in Canada for treating ANCA-associated vasculitis in April 2022.

Tavneos has shown an encouraging uptake since its approval and commercialization. In the last reported quarter, Tavneos generated net product sales of $5.4 million from its commercial sales in the United States.

Other than Tavenos, ChemoCentryx does not have any other products approved for sale as of yet. The company’s high dependence on avacopan for other indications like C3G, an ultra-rare disease of the kidney and Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) can be a setback for Chemocentryx.

Shares of ChemoCentryx have plunged 26.5% so far this year compared with the industry’s 21.4% decline.


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Nevertheless, ChemoCentryx has several candidates in its pipeline. The company is developing CCX559, its orally-administered inhibitor for programmed death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1), to treat various cancers.

ChemoCentryx initiated a phase I dose-escalation study in the second quarter of 2021, evaluating the effect of CCX559 in patients with advanced solid tumors. While the phase I study results will be made later in the year, the company intends to initiate a phase Ib/II clinical study in the second half of 2022.

However, ChemoCentryx has also suffered its fair share of setbacks. In the second quarter of 2020, CCXI decided to stop the development of CCX140, an inhibitor of the C-C chemokine receptor known as CCR2, for the treatment of a rare renal disorder, primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The decision was based on the review of phase II clinical study of the candidate, which did not demonstrate a meaningful reaction in the control group, even after 12 weeks of blinded treatment. Such setbacks do not bode well for the stock.

 

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

ChemoCentryx currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Aquestive Therapeutics AQST, Aridis Pharmaceuticals ARDS, and Merck & Co. MRK, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Aquestive Therapeutics’loss per share estimates for 2022 have narrowed from $1.50 to $1.34 cents in the past 30 days. The same for 2023 has narrowed from 95 cents to 74 cents in the same time frame.

Earnings of Aquestuve missed estimates in one of the trailing four quarters and beat the same on the remaining three occasions, the average surprise being 13.78%.

Aridis Pharmaceuticals’ loss per share estimates for 2022 have narrowed from $1.78 to 34 cents in the past 30 days. The same for 2023 has narrowed from 75 cents to 60 cents in the same time frame.

Earnings of Aridis missed estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and beat the same on the remaining two occasions, the average negative surprise being 75.16%.

Merck’s earnings per share estimates for 2022 have improved from $7.28 to $7.32 in the past 30 days. The same for 2023 has moved south by a penny to $7.20 in the same time frame. Shares of MRK have returned 22.7% in the year-to-date period.

Earnings of Merck missed estimates in one of the trailing four quarters and beat the same on the remaining three occasions, the average surprise being 13.42%.


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