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Entresto: A Key Growth Driver for Novartis in Q1

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Entresto’s revenue growth trends

In the first quarter, Novartis’s (NVS) Entresto reported net sales of $357 million, a YoY (year-over-year) rise of 85% on a constant currency basis. According to the company’s first-quarter earnings press release, the drug reported rapid uptake across all geographies and benefited significantly from the data readout of its PIONEER-HF trial in the fourth quarter.

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Growth drivers

In November 2018, Novartis issued a press release announcing the results from its PIONEER-HF trial highlighting the superior efficacy of oral medication Entresto compared to the commonly used heart failure medication enalapril for in-hospital initiations in HFrEF (heart failure with reduced ejection fraction) patients. The data are expected to further drive the uptake of Entresto across geographies.

In the first quarter, Entresto reported 3,900 NBRx (new-to-brand) prescriptions, the most ever recorded by the drug in any quarter.

According to the company’s first-quarter earnings investor presentation, Novartis expects to release the data from its PARAGON-HF study evaluating Entresto in HFpEF (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction) indications in the second half of 2019. Entresto is expected to become the first and only approved therapy in HFpEF indications. Novartis expects to launch Entresto in this indication in 2020.

According to its first-quarter earnings conference call, based on the available data, the company considers the launch of Entresto in HFrEF indications in China to be the best commercial launch of a primary care drug in the country since 1999 despite its not having secured reimbursement for the drug. The company expects China to prove to be a major geography for Entresto in the coming years.

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