Monday, August 21, 2006

Calls of Note Part 2

- Baird has some interesting comments on Millennium Pharma (NASDAQ:MLMN) saying their latest hematologist survey shows that Velcade is maintaining its position in all lines of multiple
myeloma, and it appears to have improved its position as a promising treatment in NHL. With over half of physicians stating they will increase Velcade use, we could see upside in 2H, 2006.

Firm's recently-fielded hematologist survey (July 2006) indicates that Velcade is both holding its own in MM (despite concerns over the impact of Revlimid) and is actually gaining physician mind-share in NHL.

Specifically, in front-line MM, Velcade has maintained its 12% market share, and continues to hold on to 60%+ and 40%+ shares in the second- and third-line settings, respectively. Velcade was also named as a promising new treatment strategy by 41% of ASCO attendees (56% of non-attendees), indicating that physicians appear to continue to think highly of the drug. Surprisingly, despite data showing utility as an induction agent (for stem-cell transplant), Velcade barely registers at 6% use rate in this front-line setting.

Fundamentally, the important question for MLNM is whether physicians will increase their use of Velcade. In firm's survey, the answer appears to be a clear "yes." Of surveyed hematologists, 53% stated that they were planning to increase their Velcade use, consistent with Q106. Notably, only 3% stated they would decrease use, which could bode well for 2H, 2006 Velcade sales.

Baird is currently maintaining $11 tgt and Neutral rating.

Notablecalls: MLNM has been pretty strong over the past 6 months and this may have discounted some of the heightened potential of Velcade. But still, expectations are still quite modest. This one may see some upside in the n-t. Not a high conviction call.

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