The list of the 11 blockbusters-to-be in line for a 2020 launch highlight agony and ecstasy of drug R&D
For all the talk about unmet medical need and patients first and so on, the key criteria investors watch for any new drug in the pipelines is peak sales projection. Are you going to hit the blockbuster mark, at $1 billion-plus, or are you going to be an also-ran in the sales department?
Of course, analysts’ peak sales projections by themselves are of limited value in many cases. When the PCSK9 drugs started arriving 5 years ago, Repatha was billed as a $2.5 billion peak earner. They’re nowhere near that, with new competition threatening current levels. And if Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (submission planned but not on the list) is approved, per chance, will payers cover it?
Maybe not. And then those $10 billion in peak sales assumptions would go straight down the drain.
But, analysts are analysts, and peak sales projections have to be factored in when assessing the top experimental drugs up for a launch in the year ahead.
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