Novartis prices Beovu on a par with Eylea

Novartis has passed the first hurdle with Beovu, which got the US FDA nod today for wet age-related macular degeneration. But taking market share away from Regeneron and Bayer’s megablockbuster Eylea will be a harder task. As expected, Novartis is not going hard on price – a spokesperson told Vantage that Beovu’s list price would come in at $1,850 per vial, about in line with the cost of Eylea. Instead, the company will rely on what it believes is Beovu’s differentiated clinical profile: although the drug has only shown non-inferiority to Eylea in its pivotal Hawk and Harrier trials, Novartis noted that Beovu had been linked with greater reductions in retinal fluid, a marker of disease activity. Beovu, which is injected into the eye every 12 weeks, could also be more convenient – 12-week dosing of Eylea is approved, but its label states that this is less effective than the recommended 8-week schedule. In a mark of Novartis’s confidence, the company has started various head-to-head studies against Eylea. Still, the immediate lack of a specific reimbursement code for Beovu and doctors’ conservatism could make it hard for Novartis, and it will only get tougher once Eylea biosimilars hit the market, expected in 2024.

Eyeing the big time: Beovu takes on Eylea
      Forecast sales ($m)
Product Company/ies Dosing 2020e 2022e 2024e
Beovu Novartis Every 12 weeks 281 782 1,206
Eylea Regeneron/Bayer Every 4, 8 or 12 weeks (8 weeks recommended) 7,799 7,397 6,973
Source: EvaluatePharma.

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