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Otezla: Shoring Up Celgene’s Top Line

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Target indications

Celgene Corporation (CELG) is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative therapies for treating cancer and inflammatory diseases through solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology, and neuroinflammation.

Celgene’s Otezla is an oral small molecule inhibitor of PDE4. Otezla has been approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis in the United States, Japan, the European Union, and other international markets.

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Label expansion

Otezla is under evaluation in Phase 3 trials for the treatment of Behcet’s disease and scalp psoriasis. The drug is also being studied in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (or UC), psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. Celgene expects to initiate a Phase 3 trial for Otezla for the treatment of UC based on the efficacy and safety results it demonstrated in a Phase 2 proof of concept study for UC.

At present, Otezla is in the post-approval research phase for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. It’s in Phase 3 for the treatment of Behcet’s disease and in Phase 2 for the treatment of UC.

Sales growth

Total Otezla sales rose from $1 billion in 2016 to ~$1.3 billion in 2017. Its US sales rose from $904 million in 2016 to $1 billion in 2017, and its international sales rose from $113 million in 2016 to $221 million in 2017.

This 25.8% growth came from volume increases in the United States, which reflected an increase in market share and patient access for the drug. Otezla’s international volume growth was partially offset by net price falls. 

Celgene anticipates slowing market growth for the drug offset by a continued expansion in its market share in the United States, increasing contributions from Japan and early launch countries in Europe, and launches subsequent to additional international approvals. Celgene expects Otezla to generate sales of $1.5 billion in 2018.

In the next article, we’ll take a look at Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex.

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