) Inlyta (axitinib) has received European Medicines Agency (EMA)
approval, which means the drug can now be prescribed for advanced
renal cell carcinoma (RCC) as a second-line treatment in the
European market. This news adds to the list of positive
developments for the drug this year, including the U.S. FDA
approval as a second-line treatment for advanced
RCC. The European Commission's approval will open a
bigger market for the drug, which lends support to our
expectations of continued rapid growth in sales of Pfizer's
oncology franchise in foreseeable future .
See our complete analysis for Pfizer
RCC is a kind of kidney cancer that requires surgery, but many
patients continue to show signs of RCC even after undergoing
surgery. That is when a second-line treatment becomes necessary.
Many pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer are striving hard to
address the RCC market as it is not entirely curable in most
patients. Pfizer's commitment toward RCC therapeutics is
commendable with many exciting drugs in its portfolio.
Its drug Sutent (sunitinib) is an established drug
and has displayed promising results for RCC patients
previously. The drug is also approved to treat rare types of
pancreatic and stomach cancer. While the drug faces
competition from Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline (
), Novartis and Roche Holdings (
) in a crowded market, the competition remain weak as of
now. Bayer's Nexavar is a first-line drug, but it has failed
to show encouraging results. Roche/Genentech's Avastin is also
approved in the U.S. and Europe for RCC, but its efficacy as a
first-line treatment is questionable. The only drug that poses a
threat to Sutent as a first-line treatment for advanced RCC is
GSK's Votrient. However, the drug is currently under clinical
trials (outcome expected in 2013) to compare its benefits over
Sutent. Barring any unfavorable outcome (showing major
benefits of Votrient against Sutent), we currently expect
the Sutent's sales to double from current $1.1 billion to
cross $2 billion by the end of our forecast period.
In addition to Sutent, the company now has another arrow in its
quiver, Inlyta, which is making inroads into this segment as a
second-line treatment. The drug, which typically helps delay
the occurrence of the indication, will be prescribed to patients
who have failed to respond to treatments with Pfizer's Sutent.
Thus, it will help bring in additional revenues from patients
who have failed to respond to Sutent. However, the drug faces
stiff competition from several other drugs
including Novartis's Afinitor and many analysts have pegged
the peak sales at $500-$600 million.
All of these factors will likely bolster the oncology franchise
of Pfizer and strengthen our expectations that the
company will more than double its sales in this segment to surpass
$8 billion by the end of Trefis forecast period.
We currently have a
$25 price estimate for Pfizer
, which is nearly 5% above the current market price. We are in the
process of revising our price estimate to reflect the recent
developments and the earnings.
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