Celgene's Abraxane boosts survival in pancreatic cancer

They're popping corks at Celgene ($CELG) headquarters. The company's cancer drug Abraxane aced a study in pancreatic cancer, boosting patients' survival and forming the foundation for a new FDA approval app.

Analysts greeted the data with some impressive sales projections. Eric Schmidt of Cowen & Co. figures the drug could hit $2 billion in global sales just in pancreatic cancer. It's one of the more difficult to treat cancers, and, as Bloomberg notes, up to 270,000 patients are diagnosed each year.

"Given solid efficacy, acceptable tolerability, and the dearth of treatment options, our conviction that Abraxane plus gemcitabine will become the new standard of care in pancreatic cancer is high," Schmidt said in an investor note (as quoted by Bloomberg).

Abraxane is currently approved for breast cancer and for non-small cell lung cancer, an indication it just won last month. The drug brought in $385.9 million last year; during the first 9 months of 2012, Abraxane sales amounted to $320 million, The Street reports; by 2015, it's expected to top $750 million, but that could increase significantly, depending upon the details of Abraxane's survival boost.

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