How Well Do Market Drugs Fare?

The rare disease affects 800 Americans and around 3,000 people in the world. People with this storage deficiency lack enzymes needed to breakdown specific materials from cell function, which causes a load of problems. To learn more about the disease, click here.
BiomMarin’s treatment for this disease comes in at $380,000 per year which marked it one of the top 5 most expensive drugs back in 2015.
The Trinity Drug Index, is an archive list that ranks new therapies based on three categories: commercial performance, therapeutic value and R&D complexity. How did VimiZim perform? Well, it doesn’t look like it was able to deliver a lot, even with it’s price tag of $380,000. But Dave Fitzhenry, a managing partner at Trinity Partners, still remain hopeful.

“Every company would love to have a blockbuster drug on their hands, but a company can be successful without one,” Fitzhenry wrote to the med city news. “The small to midsize revenue opportunity for these niche drugs makes them more valuable to smaller companies that can develop them with leaner infrastructures.”

The authors of the index deduced that the commercial success of a drug might be in the hands of timing of mergers and acquisitions. In fact, 65 drugs approved in 2014 were either in-licensed or acquired. All but one of the five products did poorly on a commercial level. 

Among the list of failed drugs were: Esbriet, Northera (1.8/5), Dalvance (1/5), Sivextro (1.2/5), and Zerbaxa (1.2/5). Esbriet, on the other hand is an exception, with a commercial score of 3.6/5.

This trend of last-resort acquisitions keeps on going. For example, Gilead Sciences acquired Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion and as a result, their flagship cancer drug, Yescarta, was given the green light.

Whether a drug does well commercially or not, we should remain hopeful that they are actually helping people and continue to help people by staying on the market.


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