With the American Society of Hematology meeting in New Orleans, a slew of blood cancer studies are in the spotlight. Three of the releases caught our eye, because they're significant new data on drugs already on the market.
For a long time, pharma companies have looked to large disease populations as the biggest potential revenue streams. But those days are long gone. That perception has shifted, especially with the prescription drug market stagnating in the U.S. and Europe. Orphan drugs--pharmaceutical treatments for rare diseases or disorders--have proven themselves as viable moneymakers, and the industry has taken note. Read the report >>
Novartis and its cancer drug Gleevec had one of those days that starts off not looking so good and then something comes along to turn things around.
Why would Novartis want to persuade patients to quit taking Gleevec? Because it is going off patent in 2015, already has more competition and because the company wants patients to start using its replacement therapy, Tasigna, to keep them within its drug-selling fold.
As Ariad, Pfizer and others make strides with their rival antileukemia compounds, Novartis aims to show how its newer therapy Tasigna helps more patients beat their cancer and stop taking the drug than Gleevec does.
When it comes to news releases, CEOs can't control the conversation. No doubt Novartis ($NVS) Chief Joe Jimenez would like to tell reporters, "Diovan may be dying but our new drugs don't need therapy--Discuss."
The FDA gave its blessing to Bosulif, a treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive disease. It's a second-line approval, for patients who've failed on--or can't tolerate--another drug. Analysts figure the approval is worth $341 million in annual sales by 2016, Reuters reports.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals' key cancer drug ponatinib didn't disappoint at the ASCO meeting, with new data from the company's pivotal "PACE" trial trumping those revealed late last year.
Maybe it's the rarefied Davos air or the long-range mountain views, but Novartis ($NVS) CEO Joe Jimenez is feeling optimistic about the post- Diovan future. After the Swiss drugmaker loses patent...
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has struck again. Despite two appeals of its draft recommendations, the agency let in only one new drug for chronic myeloid leukemia.