Although bladder cancer constitutes a relatively smaller segment of the global cancer market, AstraZeneca hopes the approval of Imfinzi by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will pave a way for their formulation to be used to treat several other forms of cancer. The company estimates Imfinzi to generate over US$6.5 bn in global sales, proving to be a boon for bladder cancer patients in advanced stages despite chemotherapy.
This development comes straight after AstraZeneca last month earned FDA approval for Tagrisso, a cancer drug that targets specific genetic mutations that aid tumors in evading therapy. Shareholders of AstraZeneca may be smiling their way to the bank!
Imfinzi Involved in 19 clinical trials
Researchers at AstraZeneca are testing Imfinzi for a number of other clinical trials including blood, liver, lung, head, and neck cancers, which involves 13 combinations with another therapy. AstraZeneca notices the limited number of blockbuster drugs, have been flexing their muscles to gain ground over the competitors, and this FDA approval of Imfinzi means a lot for this Delaware based company with about 1,500 employees.
Growing Bladder Cancer Cases Bode Well for Future
In the U.S., bladder cancer comes fifth in the list of most diagnosed cancers, and according to the estimates from the Bladder cancer Advocacy Network, year 2017 will witness 79,000 new cases in the country. Since very few treatment options are available in the market for bladder cancer, Imfinzi is expected to gain preference almost immediately and bring must awaited encouragement for AstraZeneca.
Imfinzi is expensive, costing wholesale rate of about US$15,000 a month and US$180,000 per year at full price. However, the company reasons the high cost of research and development for their price and expects government subsidies in order to provide Imfinzi to eligible customers at only US$25 for a single infusion.