Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda

Roche R&D chief affirms $10B peak potential for HDL drug

Who says the mega-blockbuster is dead? Certainly not , as per, Roche research chief Jean-Jacques Garaud, who believes that despite the troubled history of CETP inhibitors.Roche’s HDL drug “dalcetrapib” has the potential to earn upwards of $10 billion a year. And Garaud shrugged off the prospects of Merck's rival HDL drug "anacetrapib", which has done even better in the clinic at boosting levels of "good" cholesterol.
Even though their (anacetrapib's) HDL elevation is higher, that might not be the best marker for potential activity,. "What is important is how much cholesterol we pull from the blood. We think ours is better than any other drug , he said.
But even more importantly than the positive data on HDL levels, Roche's investigators recently were able to reassure observers that in mid-stage studies the drug appeared safe, with no spike in blood pressure.
Merck, of course, may not be ready to take a back seat to dalcetrapib. In a Phase II trial their drug was linked to a whopping 138% rise in good cholesterol and a 40% drop in LDL levels.  That's a much better result than the 31% boost in HDL levels seen in a mid-stage study for dalcetrapib. Vontobel  estimated potential sales of $5 billion a year whereas. UBS projected peak sales at $6.8 billion.