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Jublia: Valeant’s Major Drug in Its Dermatology Portfolio

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Jublia for onychomycosis

Jublia is a topical solution indicated for onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails. It received approval from the FDA (U. S. Food and Drug Administration) in June 2014.

The above graph portrays revenues earned by Jublia for the past five quarters. Revenue from Jublia amounted to $106 million, or ~3.8%, of Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ (VRX) total revenue for 3Q15. None of the products in Valeant’s portfolio contributes more than 10% to its top line. At peak sales, Valeant expects Jublia to generate $300–$800 million.

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Competition scenario for Jublia

Although onychomycosis is not life-threatening and seems to be more of a cosmetic problem, it can lead to complications such as cellulitis in some cases and foot ulcers in diabetic patients.

It has a high prevalence, ~10% of the total population in the United States. The disease can be treated with the help of oral antifungals and topical solutions. Onychomycosis affects ~35 million people in the United States. About 5–6 million are diagnosed by a physician.

In July 2014, another competitor drug, Kerydin, by Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) was approved to treat onychomycosis of the toenails. Currently, topical treatments in addition to Jublia include Sanofi’s (SNY) Penlac and Anacor’s Kerydin. These three solutions dominate the topical onychomycosis market. Systemic antifungals also include Lamisil by Novartis (NVS).

Following Valeant’s separation from Philidor, the sale of Jublia suffered. A small bottle of Jublia costs more than $500. For the third quarter of 2015, Jublia experienced a ~3.9% quarterly revenue growth, down from earlier double-digit growth.

To get exposure to Valeant and at the same time control excessive company-specific risks, investors can invest in the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH). Valeant Pharmaceuticals accounts for 4.1% of PPH’s total holdings.

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