Drugs That Off Promise of Big Profits
New medications are on the horizon, reports Barrons, and they could mean blockbuster profits for major pharmaceutical companies if the drugs are eventually approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Expect up to 50 new therapies to win approval this year with the potential to general $15 billion in U.S. sales by 2015.
Drugs to watch for, as they are predicted to generate blockbuster sales include:
Novo Nordisk – Diabetes drug, Victoza is a daily injectable drug that received FDA approval last week. Also called liraglutide, the drug is a GLP-1 analogue which stimulates insulin production, helping patients lose weight and avoid hypoglycemia. Risks - the drug carries a warning about the risks of thyroid cancer and pancreatitis. Diabetes could double by 2034 due to the aging population.
Dendreon – Prostate cancer therapy, Provenge uses live human cells from the patient cultures with a bioengineered protein found on prostate cancer cells to stimulate the immune system to attack prostate cancer. Risks- Flu-like symptoms were a common side effect.
Vivus – Obesity treatment, Qnexa has helped patients lose an average of 15% of their body mass. Sales could reach more than $1 billion annually. Combining the epilepsy drug, topiramate, with an appetite suppressant, phentermine, (which was considered the safer ingredient in fen-phen). Risks - dull headache and depression, dry mouth, tingling, constipation and insomnia.
Amgen – Osteoporosis drug, Prolia is injected twice yearly and will compete with the bisphosphonate market. FDA should rule by June, reports Barrons. An FDA advisory panel suggests limited uses for the drugs.
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer – Blood thinner, Xarelto, also known as rivaroxaban. Last May, the FDA did not approve the blood thinner, although it is already available in Europe and Canada. It will rival Coumadin, if approved. Xarelto is being tested not only on preventing blood clots, but on atrial fibrillation, and acute coronary syndrome.
Barrons reported a year ago on drug blockbusters of the future, but just three were approved last year. #