It is all about getting a chunk of the market with this new drug - which might not be a game-changer, but nevertheless has some attractive qualities – and gain a position on the market, before launching the long-acting drug that might turn out to be the real game-changer within the field.
That is the basic situation for Novo Nordisk following Wednesday’s FDA approval of haemophilia drug Novoeight, according to Sydbank analyst Søren Løntoft Hansen.
“Novoeight isn’t a game-changer, but the drug does have some positive qualities, e.g. that the patient does not form antibodies. That’s very positive, also compared with other drugs. Novo has to go and slug it out with other players and carve out a chunk of the market – for example, Baxter’s Advate, which is the head honcho,” he tells Medwatch, elaborating:
Should be room
“There should be room for Novoeight on the market one way or another, if they are able to convince patients and doctors of the advantages from switching to Novo’s drug, based – for example – on the fact that it doesn’t lead to the formation of antibodies.”
In addition, the Danish company could focus on its injection device, MixPro, which seems to be slightly more convenient to use than current products.
“It is my impression that other current products require a bit more preparation in connection with the injection.”
The real game-changer
So for Novo, the real task is to get a footing on the market.
“Hopefully they will land a long-acting version, which will be the real game-changer in this market, within a number of years.”
US rival, Biogen Idec, is slightly ahead of Novo in this regard with its drug Eloctate, for which FDA accepted a registration application in May this year. Novo’s similar product, N8GP, is still in phase III.
“But we can see from the available data that it looks like Novo’s drug has a longer lasting effect,” the analyst says.
Søren Løntoft Hansen has a global peak sales estimate of DKK 3-4bn (USD 544-725m) for Novoeight, based on Novo conquering a 15 % share of the market for severe cases of haemophilia A.
- translated by Martin Havtorn Petersen
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