Novo says blood drugs could hold blockbuster potential

COPENHAGEN | Tue May 1, 2012 3:10pm BST

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Two hemophilia drugs being developed by Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk could hold blockbuster potential though sales of its only hemophilia drug on the market will be flat this year, its chief science officer said.

Novo Nordisk aims for a hemophilia drug candidate, Vatreptacog, to replace at least part of the 8.3 billion crowns ($1.48 billion) in annual sales of its only hemophilia drug now in the market, NovoSeven, as sales of that drug decline.

“Vatreptacog can hopefully take over the market which NovoSeven has today,” Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

“NovoSeven is a blockbuster today, so you can say that if Vatreptacog takes over after NovoSeven, that drug should hold blockbuster potential,” he said.

Blockbuster is a term used to describe drugs that reach annual sales above $1 billion within five years of launch.

Another of Novo Nordisk’s drug candidates, N8-GP, a long-lasting hemophilia treatment, would compete directly with products from U.S. pharmaceuticals group Baxter International Inc, which today hold blockbuster status.

“If one is lucky enough to make a long-acting N8-GP drug which is a bit better than the competing drugs, then you could be on the way to a blockbuster market, but that is too early to predict,” Thomsen said.

“But the potential is there if the profile turns out right,” he said. ($1 = 5.6205 Danish crowns)

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