Roche's Hemlibra, Gilead's Biktarvy top pharma's blockbuster 2018 launches: report

meds
Drug companies are launching 12 drugs this year expected to reach blockbuster status. (Pixabay)

Despite concerns that payers are clamping down on new drug launches, a dozen new meds are slated to reel in blockbuster sales in the coming years, according to a new report. In fact, Clarivate Analytics expects pharma to launch more blockbusters in 2018 than in any year in recent history. 

The analysts this week published a report of 12 "Drugs to Watch" for 2018, featuring meds from Roche, Gilead Sciences, Novo Nordisk, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and more. In all, the authors expect more blockbuster meds to enter the market in 2018 than in any other year since they've started the report series back in 2013. 

Aside from generating big sales, the drugs will reshape care and benefit millions of patients, the team notes. 

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Clarivate believes Roche's hemophilia med Hemlibra will reach the highest sales in 2022, generating just over $4 billion that year. Gilead's new HIV offering Biktarvy follows with $3.7 billion in projected sales for 2022. But the group predicts Biktarvy sales will pick up the fastest, chipping in $896 million this year as Gilead's crucial hep C franchise struggles.

RELATED: Gilead's Biktarvy wins megablockbuster HIV nod, and rival GlaxoSmithKline strikes back

Novo's Ozempic also makes the list in the crowded diabetes field. The authors say the drug is "forecast to perform well due to its superior efficacy and safety versus competitor products." Another Type 2 diabetes drug, Steglatro from Pfizer and Merck, ranks eleventh on the list with $1.09 billion in sales predicted for 2022. 

GSK's Shingrix is the only vaccine included in the Clarivate report. The shingles vaccine is among a few new products the London drug giant is leaning on for growth and on Friday picked up approvals in Europe and Japan. 

Meanwhile, the analysts expect Amgen and Novartis' Aimovig to "contribute to the transformation of the migraine market." They see that drug generating $1.17 billion in 2022. 

RELATED: Novo wins FDA blessing for Ozempic, a weekly diabetes drug carrying big expectations

J&J's Erleada, Sanofi and Alnylam's patisiran, GW Pharmaceutical's Epidiolex, Shire's lanadelumab, AbbVie's elagolix and Indivior's Sublocade are also represented in the Clarivate report. 

All of the launches come as pharma deals with increased attention to pricing in the U.S. and as payers continue to work to reduce spending. After Gilead's mega-successful hepatitis C launches Sovaldi and Harvoni, market watchers have noted that payers are increasingly putting up barriers to new rollouts. But the report shows that differentiated meds can still make their way to patients and fuel growth at top drugmakers.