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2019Q3 Healthcare Pharmaceuticals

Keytruda®, Ozempic® and the other blockbuster drugs of the 3rd quarter of 2019

The pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Novo Nordisk presented their quarterly results today and concluded the earnings season for the major pharmaceutical companies. There are currently more than 50 blockbuster drugs in the world with annual sales exceeding a billion US dollars. Here the best selling and fastest growing medications of the third quarter of 2019 are compared. Eylea® from Regeneron and Bayer is excluded, because Regeneron reports quarterly earnings quite late, but combined sales are expected to be approximate $3B.

Best selling drugs in the world

The best selling drug in the world still remains Humira® from AbbVie with quarterly sales of $4936M (-3.7% worldwide, +9.6% in the US, -33.5% outside the US).

But Keytruda® from Merck with more than 20 indications is catching up ($3070M, +62.5%) and will most likely surpass Humira® at some point.

The table and figure below summaries the top 10 best selling drugs in the world.

Worldwide quarterly sales of top 10 best selling drugs (USDm)
Company/iesDrugMoleculeGenericATC codeTherapeutic group
AbbVieHumira®mABAdalimumabL04AB04Immunosuppresant
MerckKeytruda®mABPembrolizumabL01XC18Antineoplastic agent
BMS + PfizerEliquis®SMDApixabanB01AF02Antithrombotic agent
CelgeneRevlimid®SMDLenalidomideL04AX04Immunosuppresant
BMSOpdivo®mABNivolumabL01XC17Antineoplastic agent
RocheAvastin®mABBevacizumabL01XC07Antineoplastic agent
Amgen + PfizerEnbrel®Fusion proteinEtanerceptL04AB01Immunosuppresant
Bayer + J&JXarelto®SMDRivaroxabanB01AF01Antithrombotic agent
J&JStelara®mABUstekinumabL04AC05Immunosuppresant
RocheMabThera® + Rituxan®mABRituximabL01XC02Antineoplastic agent

Fastest growing in terms of value

Keytruda® is also the fastest growing drug in the world in terms of value. It forms a top 10 along with the anti-HIV combination drug Biktarvy® from Gilead, the anti-coagulent Eliquis® from partners Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, the drug Dupixent® from Sanofi approved for severe asthma in May, chronic rhinosinutis with nasal polyposis in June, atopic dermatitis in August and severe chronic rhinosinusitis in October, Stelara® from Janssen approved for psoriatic arthritis in 2013, Chron’s disease in 2016, psoriasis in 2017, ulcerative colitis in October, Tagrisso® approved for 1st-line treatment of EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer in the US and Europe in 2018 and China in September, the anti-diabetic Ozempic® (semaglutide) from Novo Nordisk, Revlimid® from Celgene with additional approvals in May for lymphoma and multiple myeloma, Tecentriq® from Roche approved for triple-negative breast cancer in March and August, small cell lung cancer in March and September and the MS drug Ocrevus® from Roche.


Worldwide quarterly sales of top 10 fastest growing drugs by value (USDm)

Fastest growing in terms of percentage

The fastest growing blockbuster drugs in terms of percentage is the anti-diabetic drug Ozempic® from Novo Nordisk. Other drugs in the top 10 are Tremfya® from Janssen for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, Entresto® from Novartis for the treatment of heart failure and Darzalex® from Janssen in collaboration with European biotech company Genmab approved for multiple myeloma.


Worldwide quarterly sales of top 10 fastest growing drugs by percentage (USDm)

Large percentage of total revenue

It is interesting to note that some drugs make up large fractions of the total revenue. For example small molecule drug (SMD) Revlimid® makes up 61.3% (2,770 USDm) of the total revenue at Celgene, mAB drug Humira® 58.2% (4,936 USDm) at AbbVie, mAB drug Opdivo® 32.1% (1,817 USDm) at Bristol-Myers Squibb and SMD Tecfidera® 31.2% (1,112 USDm) at Biogen.

The patents on Revlimid® expire in 2027 in the US and 2024 in Europe. Celgene is to be acquired by Bristol Myers-Squibb.

The European patent on Humira® expired in 2018, and the AbbVie drug is already facing competition from the biosimilars Hadlima (Samsung Bioepsis; Samsung and Biogen joint venture), Hyrimoz (Sandoz of Novartis), Cyltezo (Boehringer-Ingelheim) and Amjevita (Amgen). The US patent expires in 2023.

The patent on Opdivo®, which has more than 10 indications, expires in 2026.

There is currently a legal dispute between Biogen and generic manufacturer Mylan, whether Tecfidera® is protected from generic competition until 2020 or 2028.

In July 2018 Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed a petition with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) seeking inter partes review of our U.S. Patent No. 8,399,514 (the ‘514 Patent). The ‘514 Patent includes claims covering the treatment of MS with 480 mg of dimethyl fumarate per day as provided for in our TECFIDERA label. On February 6, 2019, the PTAB instituted inter partes review of the ‘514 Patent (the “Mylan IPR”). Thereafter, the PTAB granted the petition of Sawai USA, Inc. and Sawai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and joined them as petitioners in the Mylan IPR. A hearing has been scheduled for November 2019.

Biogen 10Q.
Categories
2019Q3 Healthcare Pharmaceuticals

Roche reports very strong sales growth in the first nine months of 2019 – outlook raised

Roche issued a press release on its nine month sales with the following headlines.

  • Group sales increase 10% at constant exchange rates and 9% in Swiss francs, due to new products
  • Pharmaceuticals Division sales up 12%, driven by high demand for recently launched medicines, mainly Ocrevus, Hemlibra, Tecentriq and Perjeta 
  • Diagnostics Division sales grow 4%, primarily due to its immunodiagnostic testing portfolio
  • Outlook raised again: Roche now expects sales to grow in the high-single digit range, at constant exchange rates, for 2019

Growth at Roche has recently accelerated due to many new product launches in the pharmaceuticals division.

Valuation

Roche is the largest pharmaceutical company in Europe, whether measured by market capitalisation, revenue or operating income.

Roche has one of the best operating margins among the European pharmaceutical companies.

But yet it is trading at lower multiples than many of its peers despite having an impressive product portfolio and pipeline with lots of new molecular entities (NMEs) in it.

Roche appears attractively valued despite the launch of biosimilars by Amgen of Avastin® and Herceptin® due to the extensive pipeline; for example risdiplam and satralizumab. It is also worth noting that all of the ten best selling drugs are monoclonal antibodies (mABs), for which generic biosimilars are not easily introduced, which offers some moat.

Media coverage

Reuters – Roche lifts 2019 sales view again as Chinese demand soars

Bloomberg – Roche Boosts Outlook for Third Time as New Drugs Surge