On Thursday, Bristol-Myers managers said Tecentriq is grabbing
market share from its I/O drug Opdivo for second-line non-small-cell
lung cancer, one factor that forced them to cut their 2017 earnings
"Most of our erosion in second line has been attributable to"
Tecentriq, Murdo Gordon, Bristol-Myers's chief commercial officer,
told analysts. "We gave up about 10 points of market share."
Merck's Keytruda drug is also taking patients away from Opdivo,
The U.S.-based company's muted Opdivo outlook underscores why
analysts predict Roche, when it announces full-year 2016 results on
Feb. 1, will confirm Tecentriq sales have accelerated, particularly
since its initial approval for bladder cancer in May was expanded in
October to cover lung cancer.
"Tecentriq continues to show strong launch trends in the fourth
quarter 2016," wrote Jeffrey Holford, a Jefferies analyst. "We have
been surprised on the upside by its launch."
Life sciences consultancy IMS estimates Tecentriq's May-September
sales for bladder cancer hit nearly $70 million, but that does not
include lung cancer figures, the biggest cancer market.
Roche declined to provide sales numbers, saying only "we can confirm
that we have seen a good launch of Tecentriq".
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Tecentriq, Opdivo and Keytruda work by helping the immune system
recognize tumors that cloak themselves against detection.
Roche and Bristol-Myers drugs are approved for use after other lung
cancer treatments fail, while Keytruda has the FDA's blessing as an
initial treatment and is now seeking the go-ahead for combination
therapy with chemotherapy, which Merck contends puts it in the pole
position in the I/O race.
(Reporting by John Miller; editing by Jason Neely)
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