Novartis Prepare Case for Earlier Kisqali Use

June 4, 2018  Source: Ddu 170

Kisqali, Novartis’ breast cancer drug, is so far not as satisfying as expected. The company is expecting some strong new data in metastatic patients will help. Can the numbers actually boost the drug’s sales? Based on how doctors decide to utilize them?

On Sunday, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, Novartis revealed the final outcome, showing that among patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, adding Kisqali to fulvestrant kept the disease away for eight months longer than fulvestrant alone.

Previously the Kisqali-fulvestrant combo staved off the disease for a median 20.5 months in untreated women, in comparison with just 12.8 months for solo fulvestrant. Researchers calculated that nearly 70 percent of patients in that first-line subgroup still hadn’t seen their disease progress at a median follow-up of 16.5 months. 

Dennis Slamon, M.D., Ph.D., study investigator, said “the dogma has been that these patients should receive hormonal therapy first, and then if they progress on that, then you give the combination,” but stated that with the new results, there could potentially be new standards, unlike any seen before, for hormonal therapy.  Novartis, for one, is expecting to see doctors run with the new data and support Kisqali’s sales in the process. While its rival Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Ibrance, had a big head start on its in-class rivals, analysts still foretold that Kisqali and Eli Lilly player Verzenio, could crack the $1 billion mark at their individual sales peaks. Till now, Kisqali has disappointed to gain major traction so much so that CEO Vas Narasimhan, before stepping into the company’s top spot, included jump-starting the product on his list of the top three challenges he’d face as helmsman.

By Ddu
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