Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, April 23

Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk launched Saxenda, its obesity drug, in the US this week and plans to charge $1,000 per month, PMLive reported. Saxenda, a high-dose version of Novo's diabetes treatment Victoza, is one of several obesity therapies to receive FDA approval in recent years. Other new drugs on the market include Arena's Belviq and Vivus's Qsymia. PMLive said that analysts expect Saxenda to generate $1 billion in peak sales.

There's a new generation of deal makers in the pharmaceutical industry—led by Actavis and Valeant—that are replacing well-known drugmakers like Pfizer and Merck in the recent merger-and-acquisition flurry, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both Actavis and Valeant have significantly higher market share now than they did in 2010. Actavis, for example, has a market value of more than $119 billion, a 22-fold increase since 2010, the Journal said.

A Boehringer Ingelheim drug to reverse blood thinning received priority review, according to Reuters. The company is testing the drug, idarucizumab, to reverse the blood-thinning effects of Pradaxa. Priority review will speed up the regulatory process by four months.

AbbVie said its new hepatitis-C treatment Viekira Pak generated $231 million in sales in the first quarter of 2015, Bloomberg News reported. The drug's quarterly performance exceeded two analysts' expectations of $223 million. Viekira Pak received FDA approval in December and brought in $48 million in sales the last quarter of 2014. It's the fourth drug in a new class of hepatitis-C treatments that promises higher cure rates and fewer side effects.

A Novartis investigational heart-failure drug is the first non-cancer therapy to be part of the UK's Early Access to Medicines Scheme, according to PharmaTimes. The EAMS program seeks to allow patients with life-threatening diseases access to unapproved drugs when there is a clear unmet medical need.


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