The hype and excitement around Biogen Idec’s treatment BG-12 for multiple sclerosis is set to come to a head with widely expected fourth quarter approval in both the US and Europe. Although BG-12 is set to be one of the biggest drug launches this year, there are also others in the midcap world expecting decisions that could have an even greater an impact on their shares and future
The other big events include Medivation and Astellas Pharma’s US approval of prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (MDV3100); Amarin getting a decision in the US on cholesterol treatment AMR101 that would help its patent position; and both European and US approval of linaclotide from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Forest Laboratories, two companies under pressure and in desperate need of some good news (see table).
Moving to the front
Big things are predicted for BG-12, which is not only the biggest growth driver at Biogen, but also the group’s most valuable product, with a NPV of $11bn. Sales are expected to hit $3.42bn by 2018 (Confirm shows BG-12 potential, October 26, 2011).
If the drug is approved by the December 28 PDUFA action date in the US, the big debate will be at which stage of the disease BG-12 will be used. Some in the industry are expecting doctors could move it straight to frontline treatment. Whatever stage it is used, with its superior efficacy it is almost certainly going to erode sales of current oral incumbent Gilenya, which has been hit by safety scares following unexplained cardiovascular deaths.
For most companies securing approval is the end of their troubles; for Amarin, this is just one more bridge crossed before it can finally relax. The FDA is set to rule on the group’s triglyceride-lowering drug, AMR101, by July 26, but for Amarin the most important task is strengthening the intellectual property around the fish oil treatment (Event – US filing is only part of the Amarin puzzle, July 06, 2012). What Amarin will most desire is that the FDA decides AMR101 is a new molecular entity, a ruling expected a month after the PDUFA decision and one that should give AMR101 and its shaky patents three to five years of protection from generic competition.
Forest in particular will be hoping that all goes well when its drug for irritable bowl syndrome with constipation, linaclotide, is up before the US regulators on September 7. Forest is currently reeling from a the patent expiry of anti-depressant Lexapro, that has forced it to cut its growth forecasts for the year and on Tuesday report a 79% fall in quarterly earnings. But the PDUFA date, which was delayed by three months, may not save Forest’s board, which is under attack from activist shareholder Carl Icahn. A showdown is expected at the August 15 annual board meeting.
Share price rise
Growing expectations about prostate cancer drug and US marketing authorisation in the fourth quarter are behind the more than doubling of Medivation shares since the beginning of the year. The drug has shown impressive results in clinical trials, leading to the early halt of its phase III Affirm trial (Medivation roars back to life as prostate cancer drug delivers, November 3, 2011). Despite the stop the drug is believed to have clear survival benefits. Sales for partner Astellas are forecast to reach $1.12bn fueled by its efficacy and the fact that unlike its nearest competitors it is a monotherapy.
Having been another victim of the FDA’s decision to extend the review time of their drug, Relistor, Progenics Pharmaceuticals and Salix Pharmaceuticals are expecting to find out by July 27 if their oral version of opioid induced constipation drug Relistor will pass muster. If the oral formulation is approved it would continue the turnaround for Progenics, which was sparked by the release of positive top line data in December (Progenics' Relistor moving nicely through trial success, December 21, 2011). Approval would also open up a new and much bigger patient population in the form of patients with chronic non-cancer pain.
The table below highlights some of the biggest regulatory decision facing the industry, outside of big pharma.
|Product||Company||Pharmacological Class||Event||Indication||Date||Product NPV ($m)||NPV as % of Market Cap|
|BG-12||Biogen Idec||Fumarate||EU and US approval||MS||Q4||9,148||27%|
|Eylea||Regeneron Pharmaceuticals||VEGFr kinase inhibitor||EU and US approval||Wet AMD (EU), CRVO (US)||Q3, 23 Sep||6,312||59%|
|AMR101||Amarin||Omega-3 fatty acid||US approval||Hypertriglyceridemia||26 Jul||2,776||161%|
|MDV3100||Medivation||Androgen receptor antagonist||US approval||Prostate cancer||Q4||2,472||78%|
|MDV3100||Astellas Pharma||Androgen receptor antagonist||US approval||Prostate cancer||Q4||2,016||11%|
|Kyprolis||Onyx Pharmaceuticals||Proteasome inhibitor||US approval||Multiple myeloma||27 Jul||2,305||80%|
|Qsymia (Qnexa)||VIVUS||Adrenoreceptor agonist & anti-convulsant||EU approval||Obesity||Q4||2,157||80%|
|Adcetris||Seattle Genetics||Anti-CD30 MAb-auristatin E conjugate||EU approval||Hodgkin lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma||Q3||1,765||60%|
|Linaclotide||Ironwood Pharmaceuticals||Guanylate cyclase type-C receptor agonist||EU and US approval||IBS||Q3, 7 Sep||1,130||52%|
|Linaclotide||Forest Laboratories||Guanylate cyclase type-C receptor agonist||US approval||IBS||7 Sep||1,083||12%|
|Linaclotide||Almirall||Guanylate cyclase type-C receptor agonist||EU approval||IBS||Q3||114||9%|
|Gattex||NPS Pharmaceuticals||GLP-2 agonist||US approval||Short bowel syndrome||30 Sep||987||163%|
|Omontys||Affymax||Erythropoietin stimulator||EU approval||Anemia||Q3||854||178%|
|Ocriplasmin||ThromboGenics||Plasmin||Ad Com, EU and US approval||VMA||26 Jul, Q4, 17 Oct||755||79%|
|Relistor||Progenics Pharmaceuticals||Mu opioid antagonist||US approval||Opoid induced constipation||27 Jul||733||250%|
|Lyxumia||Zealand Pharma||GLP-1 agonist||EU approval||Diabetes||Q4||649||198%|
|Cabozantinib||Exelixis||VEGFr2, RET & Met tyrosine kinase inhibitor||US approval||Thyroid cancer||Q4||618||80%|
|IPX066||IMPAX Laboratories||Dopamine precursor & dopa decarboxylase inhibitor||US approval||Parkinson’s disease||Q4||581||38%|
|Kynamro||Isis Pharmaceuticals||Apolipoprotein B-100 antisense||EU approval||Familial hypercholesterolaemia||Q3||538||49%|
|Eklira||Forest Laboratories||LAMA||US approval||COPD||30 Jul||308||3%|
|DR Cysteamine||Raptor Pharmaceutical||Lysosomal transport modulator||EU and US approval||Nephropathic cystinosis||Q4||297||106%|
|Budesonide MMX/Uceris||Cosmo Pharmaceuticals||Corticosteroid||EU and US approval||Ulcerative colitis||Q3, Q4||194||52%|
|Budesonide MMX/Uceris||Santarus||Corticosteroid||US approval||Ulcerative colitis||Q4||174||38%|
|Lomitapide||Aegerion Pharmaceuticals||Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein inhibitor||EU approval||Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia||Q4||135||37%|
|UT-15C Sustained Release||United Therapeutics||Prostacyclin analogue||US approval||PAH||27 Oct||124||5%|
|Selincro||Lundbeck||Opioid antagonist||EU approval||Alcohol dependence||Q3||72||2%|
|Crofelemer||Salix Pharmaceuticals||CFTR channel & calcium-activated chloride channel blocker||US approval||HIV-associated diarrhea||5 Sep||54||2%|
|Zaltrap||Regeneron Pharmaceuticals||VEGFr kinase inhibitor||EU and US approval||Colorectal cancer||Q3||21||0%|
|Scenesse||Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals||Melanocortin receptor agonist||EU approval||Erythropoietic protoporphyria||Q3||-||-|
|Selincro||Biotie Therapies||Opioid antagonist||EU approval||Alcohol dependence||Q4||-||-|
Data source: EvaluatePharma's Calendar of Events.