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Collaboration With Bristol Myers Squib Led to Successful Launch of Ono Pharmaceutical’s Cancer Immune Therapy (Opdivio®)

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

Below are excerpts and a great story on the origins on Opdivo and its early marketing troubles and eventual success when Bristol Myers partnered with a small Japanese pharma, Ono Pharmaceuticals.

As seen in Biospace News 

Ten years ago, representatives from Japan’s Ono Pharmaceutical Co. went from hospital to hospital, attempting to convince doctors to test a new product under development: drugs that helped the body’s immune system fight cancer. Nobody would listen.

Immuno-therapy was another fad, they were told. The treatment probably offered no bigger benefit than eating mushrooms to fight cancer, one critic opined. Another said he’d shave his head if it worked.

 

Read at Bloomberg

 

Source: http://www.biospace.com/News/how-a-150000-drug-created-with-bristol-myers/411159/source=TopBreaking

From Bloomberg

This $150,000 Cancer Treatment Saved a Pharma Company

 

By  Natasha Khan natashakhanhk

Ten years ago, representatives from Japan’s Ono Pharmaceutical Co. went from hospital to hospital, attempting to convince doctors to test a new product under development: drugs that helped the body’s immune system fight cancer. Nobody would listen.

Immuno-therapy was another fad, they were told. The treatment probably offered no bigger benefit than eating mushrooms to fight cancer, one critic opined. Another said he’d shave his head if it worked.

Ono’s Chief Executive Officer Gyo Sagara says he received plenty of apologies when Opdivo, the drug the Japanese company worked on with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., got the green light from regulators. The drug’s approval in Japan 20 months ago was the first worldwide in a new class of cancer treatments called PD-1 inhibitors.

It is among a string of therapies coming to market in the immuno-oncology category – medicines that help the body combat cancer rather than directly attacking the cancer cells themselves. The influential Science journal called cancer immunotherapy the “breakthrough of the year” in 2013, and the biggest global pharmaceutical companies are rushing into the field.

“They found the treasure of the century,” said Fumiyoshi Sakai, a health-care analyst with Credit Suisse, who boosted his target price for the stock to 25,000 yen in mid February. Ono’s shares closed at an all-time high of 22,605 yen on Thursday after climbing more than 70 percent over the past year.

The drug is pumping fresh life into Ono, which for years has battled slumping sales, patent expirations and rising competition from cheaper generics. Analysts now forecast that the Japanese company — among the biggest makers of specialty pharmaceuticals in Asia with a market cap of about $23 billion — will more than double annual revenue to about $3 billion by fiscal year end March 2018.

For the average U.S. patient, Opdivo costs about $12,500 a month, or $150,000 for a year of therapy. Bloomberg Intelligence says that consensus analyst estimates suggest that by 2020, Bristol-Myers and Ono’s Opdivo could have global sales of $9.5 billion and Merck & Co.’s Keytruda $5.1 billion.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-03/drugmaker-wins-big-in-japan-as-its-gamble-leads-to-150-000-drug

 Other related articles in this Open Access Journal include:

Immune-Oncology Molecules In Development & Articles on Topic in @pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy and Market

PD1 Inhibitor atezolizumab may show promise in bladder cancer in patients with high PDL1 expression

Immune-Oncology Molecules In Development & Articles on Topic in @pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

 

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