Rare diseases including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome
2015 sales: $2.59 billion
2020 projection: $5.60 billion
Soliris is one of those treatments for ultra-rare diseases with an ultra-high price tag. In fact, for several years it has topped the ranks of the world's most expensive meds--and its list price keeps getting higher. At last word, its U.S. list price was $669,000 per year, according to CBC News.
Because the diseases Soliris treats are so rare, payers tend to be willing to cover the costs. Alexion ($ALXN) has seen some pushback lately: Canada tried to crack down on its price, and the company sued, while cost-effectiveness watchdogs in England demanded information on R&D and manufacturing spending to justify the cost.
Still, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence decided to cover Soliris anyway. Its sales continue to climb, to almost $2.6 billion in 2015 from $2.2 billion in 2014. Three potential new indications, including one in myasthenia gravis, could give Soliris an even bigger boost, analysts say. Some not only predict the drug will top $5 billion by 2020, but also figure it can burgeon to $7.5 billion by 2025.
One potential spoiler: A rival drug from Alnylam ($ALNY), ALN-CC5. Phase II data on the drug will be unveiled at a conference in June. It's an RNAi therapy designed to go after a particular gene implicated in the diseases Soliris now treats. -- Tracy Staton (email | Twitter)
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