Pfizer‘s (NYSE:PFE) Intyla (axitinib) drug has received positive feedback from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and can now be prescribed for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) as a second-line treatment.  RCC is a kind of kidney cancer that requires surgery, but many patients continue to show signs of RCC even after undergoing surgery. That is when a second-line treatment becomes necessary.
Our price estimate for Pfizer stands at $25, implying a premium of 15% to the current market price.
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Pharmaceutical companies are trying hard to address the indications of RCC as it is not entirely curable in most patients. Pfizer’s oncology franchise is very active in this segment. The company’s Sutent (sunitinib) drug has displayed promising results for RCC patients previously.
In January 2012, the U.S. FDA approved Inlyta as a second-line treatment for advanced RCC. Inlyta (axitinib), which typically helps delay the occurrence of the indication, will be prescribed to patients who have failed to respond to treatments with Sutent. Pfizer has another drug Torisel (temsirolimus) in this segment.
The RCC drug market is crowded with several players including Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis and Roche. Novartis’s Afinitor is also a second-line drug approved for the treatment of patients that failed to respond to Sutent. Bayer’s Nexavar is a first-line drug; however, it has failed to show encouraging results. Pfizer’s Torisel is under phase III trial and could be used as a second-line or third-line treatment post Sutent. Roche/Genentech’s Avastin is also approved in the U.S. and Europe for RCC; however, its efficacy as a first-line treatment is questionable. The only drug that poses a threat to Sutent as a first-line treatment for advanced RCC is GSK’s Votrient, which is presently under trials. Votrient is also showing promising results in other indications.
Pfizer’s commitment toward RCC therapeutics is commendable with many exciting drugs in its portfolio. Sutent is an established drug, and Intyla is making inroads into this segment as a second-line treatment. Many analysts believe that Intyla could register peak sales of $500 million. This will likely bolster the oncology franchise of Pfizer, which is humbled by bigger players like Roche, Amgen and Novartis.
The company has an evolving product portfolio in oncology, and we estimate Pfizer’s market share in this segment will grow from around 5% currently to close to 9% by the end of our forecast period.Notes:
- Pfizer’s Inlyta backed by EMA for kidney cancer in EU, pmlive.com, May 28, 2012 [↩]