Four names, one crown: Trulicity, Vimizim star in the #FierceMadness Final Four push

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Brace yourselves--we're down to just four contenders remaining in the 2015 Drug Name Tournament. And you know what that means: a matchup of heavyweights on either side of the bracket.

As readers wondered, will the "true" candidates--Trulicity and Keytruda--prevail? Or will it be Sovaldi and Vimizim? All four are "trying to get accelerated approval" into the title game, "but who will meet the primary endpoint?"

Only you can answer that question. You've got until Sunday night to make your voices heard, and we highly encourage you to do so. Because "winning is all there is."

-- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter) and Damian Garde (email | Twitter)

Anti-infective and Cardiometabolic/Respiratory regions

Man. The Cardiometabolic and Respiratory--err, Diabetes--Region really was not feeling the love from you guys this round. The Trulicity/Invokana matchup garnered only 184 votes--122 of which came in for Trulicity to advance it into the semifinals. Maybe it's because many of you "hate both these names." Not much we can do about that at this point, but it doesn't bode well for the Lilly drug--which some of you think "just has too much of a Soylent Green vibe"--going forward.

It'll be facing off against Sovaldi, which eked out a 280-214 victory over heavy hitter (chopper?) Zerbaxa. "The dread blade Zerbaxa does wonders against the hordes threatening one's castle--or against that recalcitrant woodpile outside the back stoop that needs some splitting," one voter eulogized. Zerbaxa, you'll be missed.

As for Sovaldi, it'll just have to hope it can keep on collecting those "strictly sentimental" votes. "I had Sovaldi's Four Seasons played at my wedding," one reader remembered fondly.

No. 6 Trulicity vs. No. 7 Sovaldi

Trulicity
Maker: Eli Lilly ($LLY)
Indication: Diabetes
Sounds like: A truly next-generation dating app

Sovaldi
Maker: Gilead Sciences ($GILD)
Indication: Hepatitis C
Sounds like: A celebrated opera composer

Oncology and CNS/Specialty regions

Enduring round after round of upsets and shocks, a battle-tested Keytruda emerged from the topsy-turvy Oncology Region, beating Imbruvica 302-262 despite one rumor-mongering reader's contention that "AbbVie paid $21 billion to stuff the ballot box with half of those Imbruvica votes." And, lo, Imbruvica departs this tournament, toasted by voters as sounding like "Natalie Imbruglia, singer of the 1997 pop classic 'Torn,'" "part of an Adam Sandler song" (presumably this one) and "an Italian liqueur--a well-needed antidote after a long day working in pharma."

Now Keytruda will square off against Vimizim, an unstoppable-looking contender that "has the added benefit that you can pronounce it while keeping your lips closed," as another reader chimed in. The sonorous top seed sweated out a 470-409 victory over Hysingla, which, to voters, called to mind both "a ninja karate chop" and "the brand name for that dissonant tri-tone wind chime I received last year as a gag gift." Alas, poor Hysingla, your One Shining Moment has apparently passed, but you gave us that crazy upset over No. 2 seed Belsomra, and for that are we forever indebted.

So who will advance to the #FierceMadness finals? Will Keytruda's similarity to "Gertruda's ugly sister" be its downfall? Or will the fact that "Vim-i-zim-za-roo sounds like something Bert would sing about to Mary Poppins" sink the surging Vimizim? Vote!

No. 1 Vimizim and No. 11 Keytruda

Vimizim
Maker: BioMarin ($BMRN)
Indication: Morquio A syndrome
Sounds like: A crossed-out idea from the brainstorming session that led to Wreckx-n-Effect's biggest hit

Keytruda
Maker: Merck ($MRK)
Indication: Melanoma
Sounds like: An unwanted visitor impervious to locks

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