Report: Roche's Zelboraf, BMS' Yervoy control their segment

A new market report says Yervoy from Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and Zelboraf from Roche ($RHHBY) have sewn up two-thirds of the market for treating advanced malignant melanoma and will underpin significant growth in sales in developed markets for a decade.

On top of that, the report from Decisions Resources says experts expect the malignant melanoma market to segment, and that Zelboraf has surpassed Yervoy "as the therapy of choice for BRAF-mutation-positive patients." It says Zelboraf and a BRAF inhibitor that GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) expects to bring to market soon will push Yervoy to a "welcome second choice" for that treatment.

The report, while it does not provide any dollar figures in support of its intelligence, still has to be uplifting to BMS and Roche, which have been fighting with the U.K. drug price watchdog over getting the therapies approved in that large market. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the U.K. has twice declined to recommend Zelboraf, even when Roche offered a discount, and has also looked askance at Yervoy.

The report from Decisions Resources says new drugs in development could further change the landscape, however, as combination drugs provide better results. It also says that its computer modeling shows that with these advances, "the growth in key malignant melanoma patient populations will be modest over the next decade."

- here's the release

Related Articles:
NICE stiff-arms Roche melanoma drug once again
U.K. to revamp NICE appeals after industry complaints
Yervoy hits the market with $95M bang
NICE on BMS's Yervoy: The cost is too darn high