Novartis gets US backing for MS pill
Zurich, September 22, 2010
Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG's multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya won US backing, putting it ahead of German rival Merck KGaA in the race to be first with an oral treatment in the United States.
The US Food and Drug Administration's backing was largely expected after a unanimous recommendation by an advisory panel in June for FDA approval to treat US patients with relapsing MS, the most common form of the often debilitating disease.
Gilenya is one of Novartis's biggest drug hopes and the news could further lift sentiment in the stock, which has gained ground in recent weeks as investors focus on its promising pipeline and expect it to wrap up its buyout of Alcon.
"As a result of the broad label granted to Gilenya, we forecast it will generate peak sales of around $3.5 billion, significantly ahead of current consensus expectations which remain below $2 billion," analysts at brokerage Jefferies said in a note.
A spokesman for Novartis said the group was looking to make Gilenya available in coming weeks for patients with the disabling neurological condition that can cause dizziness, fatigue, blurred or double vision and cognitive problems.
"Gilenya's FDA approval as first-line treatment and first oral medicine against MS is very, very good news," one trader said. -Reuters
More Health & Environment Stories
- Dubai Healthcare City inks deal with UAE universities
- University of Ain Shams opens MS treatment unit
- Bahrain's humidity could ease water crisis
- Visibility in Bahrain forecast to improve
- Bahrain-India venture plans hospitals in GCC
- Seha launches new health initiative
- Veolia backs Oman waste management meet
- Obesity rate at 72pc among Saudi adults
- Bahrain ideal for artificial rain experiment
- Riyadh 'among most polluted cities'
- CGM acquires 3 European healthcare IT providers
- The age of genomic medicine dawns, finally
- Over 300 exhibitors for Saudi healthcare event
- Mackeen unveils document management solution
- Seha opens new clinics in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain
- SARS virus claims one more victim in Saudi
- New support group comes to overeaters' rescue
- RAK Hospital launches urinary clinic for women
- NBAD backs Emiratis on Antarctica trip
- Cut sugar intake drastically urges WHO
- Al khaliji to fund Qatar recycling plant
- Qatar researcher in 360km breast cancer run
- New facilitator to open in DHCC
- Many countries lack capacity to prevent hearing loss
- QUIT NOW: Passive smoking hurts kids' arteries
- San Francisco to ban plastic water bottles
- GSK wins home toothpaste award for Sensodyne
- E-integration vital to GCC healthcare industry
- Fakih IVF unveils two new genetic tests
- 2 die from H1N1 in Oman