Anti-blood clotting drug Lixiana, manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo Korea, is seeing a dramatic sales growth in the local new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) market.
According to Korea Biomedical Review’s analysis of data from UBIST, a program aggregating statistics on drugs, Bayer’s Xarelto topped the accumulated prescription sales in the three quarters this year in the local NOAC market, trailed by BMS’ Eliquis, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa, and Lixiana.
Pradaxa used to be a dominant player last year because it had gained the first local approval for a treatment of conditions related to atrial fibrillation, the largest domestic market for NOAC manufacturers. However, its sales ranking fell to third place this year from second last year, becoming the only drug to see a revenue drop among the four NOACs.
Xarelto’s accumulated sales based on outpatient prescriptions in the three quarters this year amounted to 28.37 billion won ($25.4 million), ranked first among NOACs in Korea. The figure is up 22.9 percent from 23.07 billion won in accumulated sales a year earlier.
Eliquis also saw a rapid sales growth this year. Its accumulated sales in the same period this year jumped 45 percent to 17.86 billion won from 12.32 billion won a year earlier.
Pradaxa, however, was the only NOAC to record declining sales this year, with its accumulated sales by the third quarter inching down 4 percent to 14.24 billion won, compared with 14.78 billion won a year earlier. Stepping down to a third place, Pradaxa is also facing a fierce pursuit by Lixiana.
As local drugmakers are striving to develop a new generic drug by changing Pradaxa’s base, the decline of Pradaxa sales is expected to accelerate after new generics come out on the market, industry watchers said.
Lixiana, manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo Korea and sold by Daewoong Pharmaceutical, has made a whopping 514 percent year-on-year growth in accumulated sales by the third quarter this year, which amounted to 12.39 billion won. Lixiana’s growth was the fastest among the four NOACs this year.
Lixiana’s remarkable performance is attributed to its focus on Asian patients, based on studies carried out on Asians. At the time of the product launch, the drug secured data of 150,000 Japanese patients. Its safety was proved in Japan in 2011 when it came out as a treatment to prevent venous thromboembolism for patients who went through surgeries on a hip joint or a knee joint.
“Lixiana has a strong merit that it has a low chance of bleeding and that patients can take the drug regardless of their food ingestion,” said Kim Byeong-jun, Daewoong’s product manager. “Plus, Daewoong’s unique and verified four-step marketing skills created synergy to boost the sales of Lixiana.”
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