Acorda Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACOR) inhaled migraine candidate CVT-427 is seen by Janney analyst Ken Trbovich as likely to give Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) severe competition in the migraine treatment market. Eli Lilly is acquiring CoLucid for $960 million and that will give it access to lasmiditan, a candidate for migraines that has been described as exhibiting a novel mechanism in battling the condition.
Though Eli Lilly developed lasmiditan in-house, it decided in 2015 to license the drug to CoLucid. But now it wants it back as it presses for a leading position in migraine treatment.
“[lasmiditan] offers the potential clinical benefit from a more rapid and consistent administration of an existing triptan uniquely delivered via the pulmonary route,” Trbovich said in a note to investors.
Inhaled drugs act more rapidly
Despite lasmiditan being hailed as exhibiting a novel mechanism, inhaled migraine drugs such as Acorda’s CVT-427 have been proven to act faster than triptans. For instance, a study found that the Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) inhaled DHE (dihydroergotamine) drug acted 30 minutes faster than control. Trbovich says Acorda could achieve a similar outcome from the Phase 3 trial of its candidate CVT-427.
Amgen got its hands on DHE in 2013 through acquisition of MAP Pharmaceuticals for $958 million.
15% market share
Though oral pills are the most widely used migraine drugs, non-oral drugs comprise about 15% of zolmitriptan dosed in the U.S., according to Trbovich. As such, Trbovich sees Acorda’s CVT-427 clipping away a meaningful share of the market from triptan drugs.
Trbovich further estimates CVT-427 could generate sales in the range of $50 to $200 million over the long-term.
Acorda’s CVT-427 is expected to complete Phase 2 clinical trials in 2018 and proceed to Phase 3 studies in 2019 to 2020. If the trials are successful, CVT-427 could launch in 2021 with patent protection stretching up to 2036.
Acorda shares have declined more than 45% over the last 12 months and fell 1.43% in the last session to end the day at $20.70.