Novartis is set to sustain its leading global position in oncology by expanding the range of indications for several marketed therapies and developing its competitive development pipeline with 16 new molecular entities focused on various life-threatening diseases, senior executives told investors at a meeting today.
Plans include regulatory submissions by the end of 2009 to expand the use of the marketed products Tasigna and Zometa for treatment of various cancers. Up to five other regulatory submissions are possible in 2010 involving Afinitor and other development compounds based on the outcome of ongoing clinical trials in various tumor types.
Novartis has been leading the pharmaceuticals industry in delivering growth in 2009 from recently launched products, according to IMS Health. Contributions from products launched in the last two years rose to 18% of net sales in the 2009 third quarter from 8% in the 2008 first quarter. Oncology will play a key role in this transformation ahead of the end of market exclusivity for Diovan (hypertension) in Europe (2011) and the US (2012).
“We have a productive and innovative pipeline that holds promise for many patients,” said Joe Jimenez, CEO of the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division. “The benefits of our sustained R&D investments are reflected in the nearly 30 major regulatory approvals achieved so far in 2009 in the US, Europe, Japan and China. A further 27 projects are currently in late-stage clinical trials, while eight more projects are awaiting regulatory decisions.”