Novartis says Kisqali boosts survival in breast cancer patients

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is seen at its branch in Schweizerhalle near Basel, Switzerland, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis said on Sunday that Kisqali helped women with advanced breast cancer after menopause live longer, adding to data the Swiss company hopes will help convince doctors to choose its drug over Pfizer’s blockbuster Ibrance.

Kisqali plus the hormone therapy fulvestrant, when compared to fulvestrant alone, demonstrated a significant improvement in survival with a 28% reduction in risk of death, Novartis said at the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Barcelona.

Novartis said Kisqali is now the only drug of its kind to show positive overall survival in two pivotal studies.

The Basel-based firm said this year that Kisqali also boosted survival for women before menopause with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

“These results arm oncologists with more evidence to make a confident treatment choice for their hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer patients,” Dennis Slamon, a doctor at the University of California, Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center involved with the study, said in a statement.

Kisqali had $235 million in sales in 2018, well behind $4.1 billion for Ibrance, as Pfizer’s first-to-market drug captured the lion’s share of women with metastatic HR+/HER2- cancer.

However, a Refinitiv poll found analysts expect Kisqali, priced at about $130,000 per year, to have sales of about $1.2 billion annually by 2024.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Alexander Smith

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