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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Cytokinetics, Inc.    CYTK

CYTOKINETICS, INC. (CYTK)
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05/23Astellas unveils new R&D strategy
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Astellas unveils new R&D strategy

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05/23/2018 | 10:56am CEST

Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo:4503) President and CEO Kenji Yasukawa, who took the reigns in April, unveiled his 2018 strategic plan for the company Tuesday, including a restructuring of R&D and Japan operations. The pharma anticipates a decline in its FY19 core operating profit due to loss of exclusivity for key products and aims to generate mid- to long-term growth in core operating profit beginning in FY2020.

Astellas' top priority under the plan is investing in business growth. The three-pronged strategy emphasizes approvals and expanded labels for key marketed and late-stage products, introduces focus areas for early stage R&D and creates a new Rx+ business for additional revenues.

The pharma will restructure all operations in Japan, including R&D and sales and marketing, and discontinue several Japan units.

Astellas said additional approvals for prostate cancer therapy Xtandi enzalutamide to treat earlier stages of prostate cancer could yield peak sales of ¥400-¥500 billion ($3.6-$4.5 billion). It expects peak sales of Xtandi plus four key late-stage assets, including gilteritinib (ASP2215), to reach about ¥1 trillion ($9 billion) in the next 10 years. Astellas plans to seek approval for gilteritinib, a small molecule AXL receptor tyrosine kinase (AXL; UFO) and FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3; CD135) inhibitor, to treat several acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) indications.

Astellas also highlighted fezolinetant (ESN364), an agonist of neurokinin 3 receptor (TACR3; NK3R), which it gained last year via its acquisition of Ogeda S.A. for EUR500 million ($533.3 million) up front and up to EUR300 million ($320 million) in milestones. The candidate is in Phase II testing to treat menopause-related vasomotor symptoms (see BioCentury, April 7, 2017).

Yasukawa said on a conference call that the company adopted eight focus areas for early stage research, including cell therapy with a pilot in ophthalmic diseases, immuno-oncology therapies to treat tumors with inadequate response to PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors and fast skeletal muscle troponin activator reldesemtiv (CK-2127107). The pharma is developing reldesemtiv with Cytokinetics Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTK) to treat several indications, including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Astellas' new Rx+ business will include programs to develop digital devices or diagnostic tools based on the pharma's current technology and IP.

Yasukawa presented plans to "reinforce" the company's presence in the Japan market through steady launches of new products and expanded labels of gastrointestinal drug Linzess linaclotide and diabetes drug Suglat ipragliflozin. With those combined approvals, it expects Japanese sales to exceed ¥100 billion ($897.9 million) in the early 2020s. Astellas has exclusive Japanese rights to Linzess from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IRWD) under a 2009 deal.

As part of its Japanese restructuring, Astellas will discontinue activities in its Research Technologies Co. Ltd., Marketing and Sales Support Co. Ltd. and Learning Institute Co. Ltd., except for its green-supply supporting operations, by the end of its FY18, which ends March 31, 2019.

It also plans to divest its Analytical Science Laboratories Co. Ltd. to Eurofins Scientific S.E. (Euronext:ERF) close in FY18. Yasukawa officially took over as president and CEO on April 1 but was named to the position in January. He was previously chief strategy and chief commercial officer.

Astellas shares rights to Xtandi with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE).

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(C) 2018 M2 COMMUNICATIONS, source M2 PressWIRE

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CYTOKINETICS, INC. 0.57% 8.8 Delayed Quote.7.36%
EUROFINS SCIENTIFIC S.E. 0.80% 453.4 Real-time Quote.-11.39%
IRONWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. -1.76% 17.26 Delayed Quote.17.21%
PFIZER -0.59% 35.68 Delayed Quote.-1.16%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 21,8 M
EBIT 2018 -98,8 M
Net income 2018 -115 M
Finance 2018 162 M
Yield 2018 -
P/E ratio 2018 -
P/E ratio 2019
EV / Sales 2018 14,3x
EV / Sales 2019 9,06x
Capitalization 474 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 7
Average target price 14,7 $
Spread / Average Target 68%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Robert I. Blum President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
L. Patrick Gage Chairman
Ching Jaw Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Andrew A. Wolff Chief Medical Officer & Senior Vice President
John Tannahill Henderson Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
CYTOKINETICS, INC.7.36%474
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