Special Reports The 10 most-anticipated drug launches of 2020


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It’s a new year, which means another round of new drug launches is nearing the gate. This year, the ranks are chock-full of blockbuster hopefuls—from tumor-busting antibody drug conjugates to controversial homeopathics looking to change the food allergy market.

Thanks to the team at EvaluatePharma, we have assembled a list of the top 10 most-anticipated new drug launches of 2020 based on estimated global sales in 2024. And of those 10, eight could break the blockbuster barrier in four short years—putting a new batch of heavy hitters in pharma’s ranks.

First up is AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s breast cancer conjugate Enhertu (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki), the only entry on our list that has notched an FDA approval so far. The HER2-positive cancer therapy shrank tumors in 61% of patients in a phase 2 trial, putting its possible revenue at a chart-topping $2.4 billion in 2024, according to Evaluate—and AZ’s betting up to $7 billion on that prospect.

Rounding out the top five are drugs from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, FibroGen and Immunomedics—and the group is rife with interesting backstories. Take sacituzumab govitecan, for example: The TNBC therapy, with an estimated $1.44 billion in 2024 sales, was slapped back by the FDA in early 2019 on problems at a manufacturing plant. The fallout from that CRL included a top-level shakeup at the company—but it has since refiled and has high hopes for its FDA decision date in June.

Then there’s Novartis’ inclisiran, acquired in a much-discussed $9.7 billion pickup of The Medicines Company in December. The big question? Whether the high-priced deal can pay off, given the much-publicized woes suffered by inclisiran’s PCSK9 predecessors from Amgen, Regeneron and Sanofi.

The back of the list is populated by what are expected to be lesser performers, but they have their own interesting stories to tell. Read on to learn more about who’s on the list and why—and what might get in the way of their blockbuster hopes.


1. Enhertu

Enhertu notched an FDA approval in December with a boxed warning for interstitial lung disease. (AstraZeneca)


2. Ozanimod

If approved, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ozanimod will be launching into a crowded multiple sclerosis market with several drugs using the same S1P-modulating mechanism. (Bristol-Myers Squibb)


3. Inclisiran
Existing PCSK9 drugs have largely disappointed in sales, but Novartis thinks it can do it differently with inclisiran, the centerpiece of its $9.7 billion acquisition of The Medicines Company. (Novartis)


4. Roxadustat

AstraZeneca has rights to roxadustat in the U.S. and China, the latter of which has already approved and covered it in both nondialysis-dependent and dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease patients with anemia. (AstraZeneca)

8. Valoctocogene roxaparvovec

In preparation for a possible 2020 launch of hemophilia A gene therapy valoctocogene roxaparvovec, BioMarin has upgraded its gene therapy production capacity to 10,000 doses per year. (BioMarin)


9. Rimegepant

EvaluatePharma analysts predicted that Biohaven’s oral CGRP migraine drug rimegepant would generate $897 million in 2024 sales, versus only $302 million for Allergan’s rival Ubrelvy. (Biohaven Pharma)


10. Risdiplam

Roche’s risdiplam will follow Novartis’ Zolgensma and Biogen’s Spinraza into the spinal muscular atrophy market. (Roche)



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