Projected 2018 sales:
$2.381 billion
2012 sales: $2.358 billion

Takeda Pharmaceutical was eyeing Velcade when it picked up Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.8 billion. Aching from the loss of sales induced by patent expirations for Actos and Prevacid, Takeda wanted to take Velcade and turn it into a new blockbuster. It did just that, and sales continued to grow, accelerating by 21% between 2009 and 2010 and by 19% between 2010 and 2011. 

Last January, the FDA granted Velcade its blessing for subcutaneous administration, under-the-skin injection that was easier than its previous intravenous administration and reduced side effects. And now, a prospective successor for Velcade, oral compound MLN9708, is waiting in the wings for Takeda, having already advanced to Phase III trials.

Additionally, therapies to supplement drugs like Velcade have been forecast to help the multiple myeloma market balloon by 2021, topping $7 billion from about $4.4 billion; uptake for drugs like Velcade and Revlimid is expected to increase in combination with new, experimental treatments.

Special Report: Velcade - Top 10 Best-selling Cancer Drugs

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Takeda's R&D boss injects 'urgency' into Japan's No. 1 drugmaker
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