Eisai signs with Novartis for Lenvima sales effort in U.S.


Tokyo-based Eisai is following U.S. approval of kidney cancer drug Lenvima by joining hands with cancer powerhouse Novartis ($NVS) on sales, building on an already solid sales rep force in the country.

Eisai has high hopes for Lenvima (lenvatinib mesylate) in the U.S. with both companies promoting the drug for the additional indication of advanced renal cell carcinoma, approved in May in combination with Afinitor (everolimus) from Novartis, according to a press release.

Sales terms were not disclosed, but the approach is to jointly present the combination therapy to doctors.

"Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Eisai and Novartis sales representatives will promote the availability of this combination regimen to healthcare professionals in the United States," according to the release.

"The companies will also collaborate on medical affairs activities. Each company will continue to book sales of their respective product."

Eisai has ramped up its presence in the U.S. in the past decade in the oncology space following a 2006 purchase of four products from Ligand Pharmaceuticals. But the Novartis sales presence would significantly expand its reach following the swap of products with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in 2015.

- here's the release