Looking to grow blockbuster Pomalyst franchise, Celgene declares a win for multiple myeloma triplet in pivotal PhIII

Researchers for Celgene say that they hit the primary endpoint for OPTIMISMM, a pivotal Phase III for treatment-resistant multiple myeloma that combined Pomalyst with bortezomib (Velcade) and low-dose dexamethasone compared to a combination of the last two alone.

Paul Richardson

The company is holding back the numbers for a scientific conference, but the company said that the study “achieved its primary endpoint, showing a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival for the pomalidomide arm versus the comparator arm.”

Celgene $CELG is looking to expand its revenue in the field, which is particularly critical as the big biotech looks to get past the shaky financials that startled investors last year. And Sun Trust analysts count themselves as believers. They recently noted:

To reflect current trends, we have increased our 2019-2021 Pomalyst sales estimates to $2.2B, $2.5B, and $2.65B from $2.15B, $2.35B, and $2.5B, respectively.

Pomalyst racked up $1.6 billion in sales for Celgene last year, a 23% increase over the $1.3 billion seen in 2016. That makes the drug Celgene’s number two therapy on the market. Revlimid, though, continues to be the company’s cash cow, with $8.2 billion in sales in 2017.

“The OPTIMISMM results confirm the expanding role of pomalidomide in previously treated multiple myeloma patients,” said Paul Richardson, a director of clinical research at the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. “We see the PVd combination as an important step in improving care, and especially for patients previously treated with lenalidomide (Revlimid) in this setting.”

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