Company: Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ)
2013 Global Sales: $1.7 billion
Indications: Prostate cancer
Talk about a game-changer. Back in 2011, Zytiga--which interferes with testosterone, a prostate cancer cell stimulant--won approval two months ahead of schedule, indicating that the FDA wanted it out there as soon as possible. And since then, it's torn up the market.
With survival data rivaling that of vaccine competitor Provenge from Dendreon ($DNDN), J&J's easy-to-dose pill took off, nearly hitting the blockbuster mark in its first full year on the market. And then, it got a boost from the FDA, winning approval as a first-line treatment after data showed it could add 5 months to the median survival period for those patients. As of Q1 2014, it had captured 34% of the market, racking up $512 million in sales in the year's first three months.
But Zytiga's hold may not necessarily last. It already has one major challenger on its tail--Xtandi from Astellas and Medivation--and some say Xtandi will eventually eclipse Zytiga in sales. And while there may be room for both to thrive right now, other prostate cancer drugs in development could disrupt the market, too. But the market is continuing to grow; it's projected to double to $9.1 billion in 2021. -- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter)
Special Report: Top 15 Drug Launch Superstars - Zytiga
New drugs are J&J's Q1 heroes, spurring pharma giant to hike 2014 forecast
J&J, AstraZeneca take Zytiga to Japan
J&J's Zytiga gets expanded approval, could double sales