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Before tapping into some of last year’s blockbuster drugs, let’s first remember or find out what the first blockbuster treatment was. Its name was Tagamet and it was developed by Smith, Kline and French (now part of GlaxoSmithKline). The drug hit the market in 1976 and it treated ulcers and gastrointestinal problems. During its 17 years of patent protection, the drug generated USD 14 billion. That may not seem a large sum this year but back in the days Tagamet’s revenues were pretty impressive.
Coming back to 2016, these are a few of the blockbuster drugs that made headlines last year:
Tenofovir alafenamide and emtricitabine and rilpivirine (R/F/TAF)
Developed by Gilead Sciences and Janssen R&D, R/F/TAF is used for HIV-1 infection. Gilead’s TAF-based combination therapy in partnership with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit is set to improve renal and bone mineral density measurements, as well as longevity of HIV patients. The increased numbers of those eligible for antiretroviral drugs translates into a large market for the two new TAF-based drugs. The sales forecast for 2020 is USD 1.57 billion.
Merck & Co’s MK-5172
MK-5172, otherwise known as Grazoprevir, is a drug developed by Merck and approved for the treatment of hepatitis C. It completed Phase III trials used in combination with the NS5A replication complex inhibitor elbasvir under the trade name Zepatier.
On the market for hepatitis C treatments, Merck’s drug goes up against Gilead’s Harvoni and Abbvie’s Viekira Pak. MK-5172’s sales forecast for 2020 is USD 1.54 billion.
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals’ Nuplazid
In April 2016, Pimavanserin (Nuplazid, Acadia Pharmaceuticals) received FDA approval for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis (hallucinations and delusions). The FDA named Pimavanserin a breakthrough therapy for this condition, being the first medication to receive approval for this indication. The drug works by targeting 5-HT2A receptors that are believed to play an important part in Parkinson’s disease psychosis. The FDA approval was based on data from a phase 3 Study-020 and other studies that add up to the largest research program in Parkinson’s disease psychosis. Nuplazid’s sales forecast for 2020 is USD 1.41 billion.
Nippon Shinyaku & Actelion’s Uptravi (selexipag)
Uptravi (selexipag) was originally discovered and synthesized by Nippon Shinyaku for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Uptravi was approved by the health authorities in the US and Europe, based on clinical data of the phase 3 study (GRIPHON study), conducted by Actelion, Nippon Shinyaku’s global partner. The drug entered the market in the first week of January 2016 and its sales forecast for 2020 is already USD 1.27 billion.
Genentech’s Atezolizumab (Tecentriq)
Tecentriq is the first in its class of drugs, PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors, approved to treat the most common type of bladder cancer, otherwise knows as urothelial carcinoma. In May 2016, The FDA approved Tecentriq for treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma whose condition showed no improvement during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy. By 2020, Tecentriq could hit USD 2.5 billion in sales.
Some experts say that the age of blockbuster drugs is coming to an end. Among the reasons stated are the new regulatory and pricing models but also the fact that medications have got better and better so new drugs don’t just have to be effective, they have to be superior to what already exists on the market. That may trigger a change in business models and strategies for pharma companies in 2017 and beyond.
Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2017, regardless of their location. The biggest congresses this year are:
- ESMO 2017 – 455 rooms in ten 4-star hotels
- EURETINA 2017 – 160 rooms in five 4-star hotels
- EASD 2017 – 423 rooms in thirteen 4-star hotels
- EAACI 2017 – 688 rooms in fourteen 4-star hotels