Generic name: daratumumab
Company: Johnson & Johnson
2015 sales: $20 million
2022 sales: $4.91 billion
Current indication: multiple myeloma
When Johnson & Johnson launched its multiple myeloma drug Darzalex in 2015, it knew it had its work cut out to carve out market share. Its drug was reserved for fourth-line use, setting it behind its closest competitors, Celgene's Pomalyst (pomalidomide) and Amgen's Kyprolis (carfilzomib), in the treatment sequence.
That wasn't a disaster, as multiple myeloma patients generally go through multiple treatment rounds to try to keep their cancer at bay, and J&J has already started to move the drug to earlier use.
Phase 3 trial data reported at last year's American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting showed Darzalex could cut the risk of disease progression or death by 61% when added to treatment with Takeda's Velcade (bortezomib) and dexamethasone as a second-line therapy. J&J says that data differentiates its drug from its rivals.
In November 2016, it received FDA approval for the med to be used—in combination with dexamethasone and either Celgene’s Revlimid or Takeda’s Velcade—in patients who had received just one prior therapy, a good piece of news for the drugmaker after it had bagged breakthrough status from the FDA for use in multiple myeloma patients who’ve relapsed after just one or more prior therapies.
There has been much speculation as to whether the first-in-class anti-CD38 drug will displace Pomalyst, Kyprolis and other drugs such as Takeda's Ninlaro (ixazomib), Bristol-Myers Squibb/AbbVie's Empliciti (elotuzumab) and Novartis' Farydak (panobinostat) in the increasingly crowded multiple myeloma market.
EvaluatePharma's analysis suggests it will win the tussle for market share. It's the only one of that group to make it into the top 15, although Pomalyst lies just outside with predicted 2022 sales of $2.81 billion.