Investors continue to be keenly focused on the market success of newly introduced individual products and product classes. Interest in the multi-billion-dollar launch of products serving patients with Hepatitis C across the world has diminished and been replaced by the category of the PCSK9 products , CAR-T products and PARP inhibitors. Individual products that launched in 2017 and will be monitored closely for their ability to meet full year sales expectations, for example Idhifa for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) from Agios/ or Ionis/Biogen’s Spinraza for spinal muscular atrophy.
Meanwhile, we expect a number of key approvals and launches from our portfolio companies in 2018, many of them in the areas of oncology and orphan diseases. The plethora of such approvals give us continued confidence in the double-digit revenue growth potential of the BB Biotech portfolio and the biotechnology industry as a whole.
Research pipeline investment supports future value creation
The large number of product approvals and successful product launches has enabled significant investment into the development of additional novel medicines that could dramatically change practice and improve the quality of life of patients suffering from underserved diseases. In 2017 alone, 46 new products were approved in the US, more than in any of the previous 20 years. Of these, 19 products were developed by biotech companies, 18 by the large pharmaceutical companies and 9 by speciality pharmaceuticals and generic companies. The EU recommendations totaled 35 new substances for 2017, with 14 stemming from biotech companies and 21 from the large and speciality pharmaceutical industry.
We are particularly excited about development stage companies that are investing in new technology platforms that provide the foundation for generating multiple candidates that could treat a variety of unique and diverse indications. These include Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Macrogenix, and Moderna. Companies with individual products that find clinical and market success in multiple indications over time are also of great interest as they provide a continued source of future growth following revenue stabilization in initial indications. Alexion’s Soliris is a prime example, with the recent approval in myasthenia gravis and potential approval in neuromyelitis optica adding two layers of growth. Other examples from our portfolio include Incyte’s Jakafi, Tesaro’s Zejula, and CAR-T products from Celgene and Gilead.
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