Analysts tag Velcade as blockbuster

News flash: Experts are using the words "Velcade" and "blockbuster" in the same sentence. Millennium Pharmaceuticals is reporting stronger-than-expected sales of the cancer drug--which happens to be its only drug on the market. The drug's U.S. take will grow by 20 percent for 2007, to $265 million, and analysts are predicting $420 million by 2009. Globally, they're expecting the drug to bring in $921 million in 2009. Johnson & Johnson has marketing rights to the drug in more than 85 countries outside the U.S.

Docs are using Velcade as an add-on for two blood cancers, multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. At this week's American Society of Hematology conference in Atlanta, the company will present new studies showing the drug's effectiveness as a first-line treatment for multiple myeloma. The company is also testing the drug against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other cancers.

Also at the hematology meeting, Novartis will trumpet new data on Glivec's effectiveness against leukemia. The Swiss drug maker says a new study shows the drug slows the disease's progression. The six-year survival rate on the drug was 88 percent.

- see this release from Millennium
- check out this release on the forthcoming Velcade research
- read the analysis of Velcade's prospects in the Boston Globe
- read the report about Glivec from CNN Money

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