Pandemic Still Putting Pressure On Novartis Oncology Portfolio
CEO Concerned About Diagnosis Delays
As Vas Narasimhan spoke about his worries of missed diagnoses and worse outcomes, Q1 sales at the Swiss major's cancer business remained flat as new patient starts, physician visits and cancer screenings declined due to COVID-19.
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Novartis has failed to reach a reimbursement agreement to keep its first-in-class advanced breast cancer drug on the German market, but it is pressing on with plans to expand market access for the product across Europe. It is also working on securing regulatory approval to use Piqray in a broader patient population that would carve out a more meaningful place in the relevant treatment pathway.
The PD-1 inhibitor, approved in China, will be a late entry to the US and European markets, where it is partnered with Novartis, but is supported by a broad clinical trial program.
BeiGene has teamed up with Novartis to take its PD-1 antibody global after an earlier major deal with Celgene was terminated following the BMS acquisition, and amid intense market and pricing competition in the immuno-oncology sector in China.