Profit on $475 000 Novartis cancer drug could be a while coming - (London South East via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Analysts believe it could take Novartis time to generate a profit on its $475 000 cancer drug Kymriah, as reported London South East Thursday.

  • The FDA approved the drug earlier this week for the treatment of children and young adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, while Novartis also hopes to gain approval to use the drug in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

  • "It is not clear what the break-even point for profitability is, as this is a very capital intensive endeavour," explained Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson, adding that Novartis will likely lower the price of the treatment for patients with DLBCL.

  • Additionally, partner Oxford BioMedica could be due as much as $100 million over the next three years in addition to sales royalties.

  • "Expect turbulent public discussions on drug pricing, demonstrating that the road to hell is paved with good intentions," commented Baader Helvea analyst Bruno Bulic.

  • Bulic estimated that Kymriah will be start being profitable after 2019, when it is expected to be used in additional patient groups.

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