In the pharmaceutical sector, nothing boosts a drug brand more then it’s initial FDA approval.  And that’s exactly what happened to Sandoz’ generic Copaxone to treat multiple sclerosis.

Copaxone is up an amazing +17 points or +27 percent at a strong 62 rating position.  The widely covered FDA approval in mid-April lifted the media coverage for Copaxone and its developer, Sandoz.  The media attention spelt bad news for the non-generic version of Copaxone manufactured by Teva.  Teva is up +1 point on collateral or comparison coverage at a 72 rating for the April period.

Copaxone media performance is similar to number of niche brand treatments.  There are numerous media spikes with no visible trending.  A quick look at the media rating moving average illustrates the importance of looking past the spikes, and determining where media volumes are strengthening, and where they are declining.

In the case of Copaxone, media coverage is rebuilding after a long 2-year decline.  The latest media spike in April suggests there is opportunity to capitalize on the most recent news coverage.  A reasonable media rating goal for Sandoz, the manufacturer of Copaxone, would be to capitalize on the FDA announcement and keep the top line media rating number north of 55 points.

Looking more broadly at the underlying conditions addressed by the drug, Copaxone treats MS, a condition we’ve been tracking for a number of years in the media.   Media coverage for multiple sclerosis is up +1 point, generating a media rating for April of 83.  Long term coverage for the condition is strong with a trailing 12-month average of 80 points.  The condition has down slightly in the rankings at #23, but up +15 positions over the prior year.  MS is gaining media coverage above the condition and disease sector average, 68 points.  Just media perspective, multiple sclerosis pulls the same media volumes as high blood pressure, which is also generating an 83 media rating.

The condition or disease sector was weak in April, with 73 declining entities versus 48 advancing, resulting in a relative sector strength index (RSI) of 0.4.   The sector experienced its weakest April in almost 3 years.  The Political Sector along with Teens and Children Sector showed the strongest gains in April.