As the biggest drug makers jockey for assets and juggle their pipeline prospects, which ones appear best positioned to pass muster with credit watchers?
Overall, pipeline quality remains good and, not surprisingly, oncology remains a key focus for many companies, whether developing new drugs or seeking added indications, according to a new report by Moody’s Investor Service, the credit-rating agency. Moody’s also cited a new class of migraine drugs known as anti-CGRP, as well as more effective medications for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, for bolstering outlooks.
But four of the 18 drug makers that were examined stood out for having the strongest late-stage pipelines relative to their revenue — Allergan (AGN), AstraZeneca (AZN), Celgene (CELG), and Roche (RHHBY). AstraZeneca, however, has a negative outlook due to the failure of a key lung cancer drug trial last year, while the other three companies are considered stable by Moody’s rankings. Celgene managed to maintain a strong ranking thanks to its acquisition of Juno Therapeutics, despite suffering clinical trial setbacks otherwise.