Alex­ion's cash cow Soliris just got fat­ter as FDA green­lights an­oth­er block­buster in­di­ca­tion

Alex­ion has scored an ad­di­tion­al FDA OK for its key­stone rare ther­a­py Soliris, un­lock­ing what a key an­a­lyst calls a sig­nif­i­cant part of its C5 fran­chise and el­e­vat­ing that port­fo­lio fur­ther up the block­buster ranks.

The drug is now ap­proved to treat neu­romyelitis op­ti­ca spec­trum dis­or­der, a rare au­toim­mune con­di­tion char­ac­ter­ized by sud­den at­tacks on the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. The dis­ease of­ten strikes women in their 30s and 40s, and could be con­fused with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis. While off-la­bel Rit­ux­an helps most pa­tients — ap­prox­i­mate­ly 70% — keep the dis­ease at bay, re­laps­es still threat­en to do ir­re­versible harm and cause se­vere dis­abil­i­ty to those for whom the stan­dard of care doesn’t work.

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