Move over Humira, it's the cancer antibodies' turn at the top

Humira is set to lose its crown as the world's biggest-selling drug next year, ceding its position to Merck's anti-PD-1 MAb Keytruda. With Bristol's similarly acting Opdivo in second place out to 2028, the top of the table will be dominated by these two checkpoint inhibitors until their likely patent expiries at the end of the decade. The major Covid products – the vaccines Comirnaty and Spikevax and antiviral Paxlovid – sit among the top five for this year, but their reign is assumed to be brief. This newly extended view of consensus forecasts from Evaluate Pharma reveals therapies from a couple of non-big pharma names – Gilead and Vertex – in the top 10 in 2028. The cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta is exactly the sort of product that many large developers would love to own, but Vertex's $70bn valuation likely precludes an acquisition. Meanwhile the forecast success of Biktarvy in HIV shows that Gilead is still very good at developing antiviral drugs, despite its recent struggles in oncology. Skyrizi’s predicted vault up the rankings helps explain why Abbvie is expected to become the biggest drug developer in 2028; Rinvoq sits just outside this table at number 11 (Abbvie to become the biggest of pharmas in 2028, May 30, 2022).

Biggest selling drugs, 2028 reboot 
Drug (manufacturers) 2028 global sales ($bn) 2021-28 rank change
Keytruda (Merck & Co) 30.9 +4
Opdivo (Bristol Myers Squibb/Ono) 15.7 +9
Dupixent (Sanofi/Regeneron*) 14.8 +12
Darzalex (J&J/Genmab*) 13.9 +12
Ozempic (Novo Nordisk) 12.0 +19
Biktarvy (Gilead) 11.6 +3
Skyrizi (Abbvie) 11.5 +46
Imbruvica (J&J/Abbvie) 10.1 +5
Trikafta (Vertex) 9.5 +15
Tagrisso (Astrazeneca) 9.4 +15
Note: sales include those also booked by global partners, where relevant; *partner books royalties. Source: Evaluate Pharma. 

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