Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) and Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) revealed last week that the Phase III trial of the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug has met its main endpoint, proving that sarilumab is superior to adalimunab, which is branded as the top-selling Humira of AbbVie, Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), in terms of improving the signs and symptoms experienced by those suffering from RA.
Meanwhile, American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) announced its plans to expand its lending services in the US as it hopes to recover from a downturn in 2015.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ SARIL-RA-MONARCH Study
The SARIL-RA-MONARCH study has met secondary endpoints that assess further improvements among RA patients.
Janet van Adelsberg, M.D., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Senior Director of Clinical Sciences, Immunology, and Inflammation, said that sarilumab, an investigational human IL-6 receptor antibody, has shown stronger efficacy than the rival adalimumab. According to her, this is a first for an IL-6 receptor antibody.
369 patients were enrolled in the clinical trial. They were randomly given either 200 mg of sarilumabmonotherapyor 40 mg of adalimumabmonotherapy every two weeks. Those who inadequately responded to the latter were subject to weekly dosage increase.
American Express’ Rebound
Lately, American Express has received intense pressure from big rivals such as Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C). To bounce back, the company has devised a strategy that includes accelerating acceptance by merchants and extending lending to firms in the US. Kenneth Chenault, American Express CEO, said that the company hopes that this move will potentially drive growth. Chenault also clarified that American Express will not sell some of its card loans as indicated by some investors.
J2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:JCOM), Hibbett Sports, Inc.(NASDAQ:HIBB) Updates
Another stock to watch these coming days is J2 Global as the company has claimed that a short seller report released last week is “factually incorrect”.
On the other hand, Hibbet Sports issued its fourth quarter results, showing a 13% decline in profit. The recent fall in the company’s balance sheets can largely be attributed to January’s weak sales that offset Hibbet Sports’ holiday sales.