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Ahead Of The Bell: Pozen Upgraded

From Associated Press (May 14, 2010)

NEW YORK -- A Jefferies & Co. analyst upgraded shares of Pozen Inc. Friday, citing the commercial potential for the migraine drug Treximet and arthritis drug Vimovo.

Jefferies analyst Eun K. Yang upgraded the stock to "Hold" from "Underperform" and reaffirmed a $10 price target. She said the stock’s price movement will likely be muted until Wall Street gets a better sense of Vimovo sales trends. The drug was approved earlier this month.

Treximet is sold in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline and was approved in 2008. Pozen receives royalties on sales. Licensing revenue rose 67 percent to $6.9 million during the first quarter. Yang expects peak annual sales of the drug to reach $100 million. They were about $86 million in 2009.

The drug is currently part of a patent challenge by generic drug developers including Par Pharmaceuticals, Mylan and Dr. Reddy’s.

Meanwhile, Yang expects peak annual Vimovo sales of about $300 million by 2014 to 2015. Pozen receives about 10 percent royalties on the drug from its partner AstraZeneca. The drug is expected to reach the market during the third quarter.

Vimovo a combination of the painkiller naproxen and AstraZeneca’s heartburn drug Nexium. It is aimed at treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.


Posted: May 2010