Despite the continued inflationary pressures, the second quarter (Q2) of 2023 yielded promising outcomes for the leading 20 biopharma giants. The aggregate market capitalisation demonstrated a resilient upswing of 2.3 per cent, surging from $3.49 trillion during the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 to an impressive $3.56 trillion in Q2 2023, reveals GlobalData.
Alison Labya, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “Lilly witnessed the largest market capitalisation growth of 36.1 per cent over Q2 2023, moving up to first position in the list and displacing Johnson & Johnson from its top spot for the first time even though it reported a 6.8 per cent increase in market capitalisation.”
Lilly’s strong market capitalisation growth over Q2 was attributed to its diabetes drug Mounjaro, a synthetic peptide that reported $980 million in global sales, according to GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center Drugs Database. In addition, Lilly is anticipating Mounjaro’s approval for the treatment of obesity based on the release in Q2 of two positive pivotal phase III trial results; SURMOUNT-3 and SURMOUNT-4.
Furthermore, the favorable outcomes of the phase III trial in the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 investigation, evaluating donanemab as a monoclonal antibody therapy for early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease, played a pivotal role in Lilly’s market capitalisation surge last quarter. The subsequent submission for regulatory approval to the US FDA, anticipated to be received by year-end, further fueled this advancement.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals moved up by two places with a 11.9 per cent market capitalisation growth over Q2 following the submission of CRISPR-based ex vivo cell therapy exagamglogene autotemcel (exa-cel) for US FDA approval with its partner CRISPR Therapeutics.
Merck & Co moved up to the third position with an 8.4 per cent market capitalisation increase due to its $10.8 billion acquisition of Prometheus Biosciences. This strengthens Merck & Co’s immunology pipeline with the addition of PRA023 – a monoclonal antibody drug currently being evaluated in ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and systemic sclerosis – which is forecasted to achieve global sales of $2.1 billion by 2029, according to GlobalData’s Drugs Database. This may likely offset blockbuster drug Keytruda’s expected sales decline following its loss of exclusivity in 2028.
More than half of the top 20 global biopharma companies reported a decline in their market capitalisation over Q2 2023, with AbbVie (-15.5 per cent), Daiichi Sankyo (-13.5 per cent), Bayer (-13.5 per cent), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (-12.2 per cent) and Pfizer (-10.1 per cent) recording negative growth exceeding 10 per cent in Q2 2023.
AbbVie reported the largest market capitalisation decline in Q2 2023, largely due to the reported decline in sales of its blockbuster drug Humira resulting from biosimilar competition. Concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of Daiichi Sankyo’s partnered monoclonal antibody conjugated lung cancer drug with AstraZeneca, datopotamab deruxteca, triggered its market capitalisation decline in Q2.
Labya concludes, “Biopharma companies such as AbbVie are starting to experience the consequences of biosimilar competition. To mitigate the impacts of inevitable patent cliffs, top players in the industry are forced to shift their focus to new blockbuster drugs and continue to invest in the research and development (R&D) of innovative therapies.”