Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Alexion’s pricey Ultomiris wins backing from England’s cost watchdogs thanks to confidential discount


Alexion has added a nice piece to Ultomiris’ growth potential ahead of its planned merger with AstraZeneca, scoring backing from England’s drug cost watchdog in a key indication.

The C5 inhibitor now has full coverage on the National Health Service for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), thanks to a recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It can now be used in patients with high disease activity who have remained stable on the drug’s predecessor Soliris for at least six months.

Alexion earned Ultomiris’ support from NICE after offering up a confidential discount. The drug’s list price in the U.K. is £4,533 per 300 mg/3 ml concentrate, and £16,621 for the 1,100 mg/11 ml concentrate.

The drug is dosed by weight. In the 60 kg to 100 kg weight range, the maintenance dose is 3,300 mg, or three 1,100-mg vials, every eight weeks. That means it costs around £50,000 every other month before the discount.

NICE’s reviewers view Ultomiris as similarly effective and just as safe as Alexion’s own Soliris, which is dosed every other week. Ultomiris’ longer interval offers patients quality of life benefits and may also save costs, NICE’s appraisal experts noted.

RELATED: JPM: Alexion gives an updated look at what AstraZeneca’s getting for $39B

Bracing for a potential biosimilar entry in 2025, Alexion has been focusing on converting Soliris patients to Ultomiris. As of the end of last year, the company had turned over 70% PNH patients to Ultomiris in major markets. It aims to achieve the same in atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) within two years of launch, or at the end of this year in the U.S.

Thanks to the quick conversion, Ultomiris sales surged pass the blockbuster threshold last year, reaching $1.08 billion versus $339 million in 2019. Soliris also registered a small growth of 3% to $4.06 billion.

Overall, Alexion’s sales haul came in at $6.07 billion, up from $4.99 billion a year ago. The company is targeting annual global sales of $9 billion to $10 billion by 2025.

NICE is also considering Ultomiris coverage in atypical HUS, having held the first appraisal committee meeting for that use on Tuesday.

RELATED: The top 10 largest biopharma M&A deals in 2020 | 1. AstraZeneca/Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Besides PNH and HUS, Alexion is simultaneously testing Ultomiris in phase 3 trials of generalized myasthenia gravis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Boasting two blockbuster drugs and expertise in complement biology and more broadly, immunology, Alexion recently attracted AstraZeneca in a $39 billion buyout offer. AZ believes the complement cascade’s role in the innate immune system could mean broader applications of drugs targeting it beyond those rare diseases. Potential therapeutic fields AZ is eying with the buyout include oncology, neurology and respiratory, among others.



Source link

Latest Articles

Widely used chemical linked to 1,00,000 US deaths per year: Study

NEW YORK: Daily exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals used in everything from plastic containers to makeup, may lead to approximately 100,000 deaths...

Foods to Reduce Inflammation and Strengthen the Immune System

Did you know that you can greatly reduce inflammation and boost your immune system by simply incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and beverages into your...

Personal Selling

INTRODUCTION Early sellers and traders were not held in high esteem. The Roman word for salesman meant ‘Cheater’ and...

Building Muscle on a Vegan Diet

There are a lot of  misconceptions surrounding veganism. The notion that those who practice it are lacking in protein and therefore muscles is the...

Electrodes in brain new hope for severe cases of epilepsy

Neurosurgeons at All India Institute of Medical Sciences have devised a new technique for operating on children suffering from a severe form of epilepsy...