Novartis hopes to consolidate its early leading position in the market for new cancer treatments (called new radioligand therapies) with a potential value of US$10 billion after the positive results of its trials.

Vas NarasimhanThe CEO of Novartis said that the pharmaceutical company has large-scale production capacity and has established a relationship with the hospital. The hospital will have to invest to adapt to provide treatment, which will lead to a “virtuous circle”, and competitors find it more difficult to replace the company’s dominance. status.

“We believe that in the next ten years, this may be a market of more than 10 billion U.S. dollars,” he told the Financial Times. “When you see cancer that it can solve, you certainly have the opportunity to go more and bigger.”

It was originally discovered by physicists at CERN, the European nuclear research organization, that radioligand therapy delivers radiation to tumors through infusion, which is more targeted than blunt devices in radiotherapy. Novartis acquired Advanced Accelerator Applications, a scientist’s company, for $3.9 billion in 2018.

Narasimhan said the results of the trial announced last month were “very significant.” In a phase 3 trial for the treatment of prostate cancer, Novartis found that it reduced the risk of death by 38% compared to standard treatment.

The company plans to submit regulatory approvals for the therapy in the United States and the European Union in the second half of the year. It will extend the trial to the early treatment of prostate cancer and is studying its use for other cancers, including in the lungs and brain.

However, this treatment requires complex infrastructure, timely provision of radiation therapy, and isolation of patients while receiving treatment.

Narasimhan said that he thinks there may be tens or hundreds of thousands of prostate cancer patients and encourages the clinic to expand to the area.

“We think prostate cancer will be the unlock that will truly enable us to gain wider interest,” he said.

Narasimhan has increased Novartis’s focus on innovative drugs, including Kymriah (a cancer treatment method) and Zolgensma (a gene therapy for the debilitating genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy), which are transformative but difficult to deliver. The most expensive drug in the world).

The soaring sales of blockbuster drugs helped Novartis to exceed expectations in terms of earnings and revenue in the second quarter. At constant exchange rates, sales of Entresto, which is used to treat heart failure, increased by 46%, while sales of Cosentyx, which treats diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis, increased by 21%.

The Swiss pharmaceutical company reported net sales of 13 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 14% year-on-year, and higher than the market’s consensus of 12.5 billion U.S. Core earnings per share were US$1.66, higher than the average analyst estimate of US$1.52. Net income was US$2.9 billion.

As some health systems began to approach pre-pandemic cancer diagnosis levels, revenues from oncology drugs increased by 7% at a constant exchange rate. Upset By focusing on treating Covid-19 patients.

Novartis reiterated its guidance on net sales for the full year of 2022, that is, net sales will grow in the low to mid-single digits, and core operating income will grow in the mid-single digits. The forecast assumes that coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed in the second half of the year.

Narasimhan said: “I think health ministers are becoming more aware that, eventually, many countries die from cardiovascular disease more than Covid, and then, in terms of cancer, the death toll is close to the death toll from Covid.”

But he warned that due to the “ups and downs of delta mutation,” the rebound in treatment may be reversed, which has prompted an increase in hospitalizations in many countries.

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