Boehringer Ingelheim, determined not to let clot-fighter Pradaxa be outdone by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto, has added a couple of new uses to the drug's label, snagging the FDA's okay to treat deep vein thrombrosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in some patients. But it still has a long way to go--and some safety concerns to dispel--before it can retake the anticoagulant throne.
When Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer launched their new anticoagulant, Eliquis, early last year, Wall Street analysts predicted it would be a $3-billion-a-year blockbuster. After more than a year of struggling to reach that goal, the companies got some good news late Friday, when the FDA approved the drug to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs following hip or knee replacement surgery.
Is Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Eliquis really safer than its competitors? A recent analysis of FDA adverse events reports suggested that it is.
What's the safest anticoagulant? According to AdverseEvents, which analyzes and distills data filed with the FDA, that would be Eliquis, the latest entrant into the warfarin alternative market.
Bristol-Myers Squibb says its Eliquis DTC campaign is doing its part to help get sales where the company wants them. Revenues for the anticoagulant may not be where many analysts expected they'd be when they talked the drug up as a future $3-billion-a-year blockbuster. But they are on the rise--thanks, in part, to the campaign, launched in September. And BMS says it's not stopping there.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's got some pumped-up sales to go along with its slimmed-down focus. In the fourth quarter, revenue increases and decreased costs helped the company beat Wall Street's earnings estimates on the way to zeroing in on its new-look pharma model.
The good news for Daiichi Sankyo: Its new anticoagulant drug matched the old standard-issue drug warfarin at preventing stroke and blood clots. And as far as safety goes, edoxaban beat warfarin by a significant stretch. That's an entree into the warfarin-alternative market, expected to grow to $10 billion over the next several years.
According to an EP Vantage report, analysts' predictions for 2014 sales of the anticoagulant have fallen 60% in the last 12 months. They now stand at $491 million. That is as projections for 2014 sales of Xarelto have surged by 81% and 60% in the respective territories for J&J and Bayer, to $1 billion and $1.4 billion.
Every drugmaker dreams of developing a drug so important that it shakes up an entire market. And it happens--just think of Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga, the prostate cancer drug that has not only grown by leaps and bounds, but arguably nudged aside Dendreon's competing treatment, Provenge. Want new examples? That's what Motley Fool offers today.
As goes Eliquis, so goes Bristol-Myers Squibb. That's true this quarter anyway, with the company cutting its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts at the same time it announces remarkably weak sales of its new anticoagulant drug.