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Ibrance: Major Growth Driver for Pfizer in 2017

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Ibrance’s growth trends

In 3Q17, Pfizer’s (PFE) Ibrance reported revenues close to $878 million, which is YoY (year-over-year) growth of ~59.6%. The drug reported sales worth $2.4 billion in the first nine months of 2017, which is a rise of 61.5% YoY. Ibrance’s solid growth trajectory has been one of the factors driving the Innovative Health segment’s revenues. The revenues have risen 11% operationally on a YoY basis to ~$8.1 billion in 3Q17. Pfizer is confident about the continued future uptake of Ibrance, despite the FDA granting approval to two other CDK4/6 inhibitors—Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Verzenio and Novartis’ (NVS) Kisqali—in breast cancer indications in 2017.

Notably, Pfizer accounts for 0.96% of the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF’s (VOO) total portfolio holdings.

The above chart shows the detailed development plan for Ibrance, which aims to position the drug in advanced as well as early breast cancers settings by 2020. Beyond 2020, the company plans to explore the potential of the drug in other oncology indications beyond breast cancer. This would allow Pfizer to compete effectively with other leading oncology players like Merck (MRK) and Roche Holdings (RHHBY).

Market opportunity

At end of September 2017, Ibrance managed to attain almost a 50% share of the first-line HR+ (hormone receptor–positive) and HER2- (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative) metastatic breast cancer market in the US. By the end of 3Q17, the drug had been prescribed by ~11,000 physicians to ~70,000 patients in the US and 18,000 patients in the European Union market. The drug has secured regulatory approval in more than 70 markets including Japan.

Pfizer expects to witness increased demand for Ibrance from already prescribing physicians and the expansion of the overall CDK4/6 inhibitor segment in the US. Currently, CDK4/6 inhibitors account for almost 50% of the total advanced breast cancer market in the US. They have risen to 57% for the new patient category. Entry of competing CDK4/6 inhibitors combined with an increasing amount of published supporting data helped boost Ibrance in 2017.

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