Merck KGaA sees long-term growth in cancer drug Erbitux - (Chicago Tribune via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Merck KGaA expects to get a long-term boost from positive study results released in June on cancer drug Erbitux, as reported Chicago Tribune
  • The drug, which accounted for about 8 percent of Merck's 10.7 billion euros ($14.6 billion) in 2012 sales, was shown to be more effective at prolonging the lives of patients with colorectal cancer than Roche's Avastin.
  • "We still have room to grow in colorectal cancer due to our personalized KRAS-approach," said Belen Garijo, the head of Merck's prescription drugs division, adding that the study results would help her marketing teams argue the case for Erbitux.
  • "We do not expect to see a biosimilar for Erbitux for quite a few years," Garijo said.
  • Analysts on average expect sales of the drug to reach $1.25 billion in 2014, falling to $1.1 billion by 2018.
  • In 2012, Merck generated 887 million euros ($1.2 billion) in Erbitux sales and Bristol-Myers Squibb generated $702 million in sales from the drug, while Roche reported sales of 5.76 billion Swiss francs ($6.00 billion) from Avastin.

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