Can Celgene's latest Revlimid win reverse the company's bad-news streak?

Celgene's Revlimid, in combo with Rituxan, flopped a clinical trial last December. (Celgene)

Celgene broke its losing streak Monday with a positive clinical trial showing for Revlimid, and one analyst thinks more rosy pipeline events could follow in the not-too-distant future.

Monday, the New Jersey biotech revealed that a pairing of Revlimid and Roche’s Rituxan topped a Rituxan-chemo combo at staving off cancer progression in patients with previously treated indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas, such as follicular lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma.

And what’s more, investigators flagged a “favorable trend” in the overall survival department, though it’ll be awhile before they have full overall survival results.

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While detailed numbers on the progression-free survival win will stay under wraps for presentation at a medical meeting, Celgene Chief Medical Officer Jay Backstrom called the beat “highly significant.” Celgene plans to submit data on the chemo-free regimen to regulators in the first quarter of next year, it said.

RELATED: Celgene's Revlimid fails lymphoma trial, and it's more than a data shortfall: analyst

While it’ll be tough to judge just how much money a new indication could bring until details on the clinical benefit are available, Leerink Partners analyst Geoffrey Porges said, the positive result “emphasizes the optionality that exists in many parts of the company’s pipeline.”

The company sports a “relatively broad” lineup of candidates, and “despite recent history”—which saw the Revlimid-Rituxan cocktail, known as R2, flop a follicular lymphoma trial—“not everything in the company’s portfolio will fail,” Porges reminded investors in a note.

RELATED: Relax, Celgene investors. The situation isn't as bad as you think: analyst

Celgene shares have taken a beating over the past year, thanks to what Porges calls the “triple threats of poor investment decisions, weak operational performance and long-term patent uncertainty” surrounding Revlimid. But even before Celgene unveiled the latest Revlimid victory, Porges and his colleagues saw opportunity for investors to get in on the ground floor.

Celgene’s stock boasts “remarkable upside” for those “willing to step in at the current ‘distressed’ valuation,” he wrote in March.

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