With incidence of cardio-vascular disease growing amongst people on a worldwide scale, it is but natural for pharmaceutical companies to capitalize on the situation by releasing drugs that would combat the disease. To this effect, there are two companies running in the forefront of this race, namely Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN) which was the first to formulate a drug and a team of Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) and Regneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) which has been following closely on its heels.
Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN) has named its drug as Evolocumab and it belongs to the class of PCSK9 inhibitors, meaning on being consumed regularly as per prescription, it is capable of reducing the percentage of bad cholesterol 66 to 55 levels. Having successfully concluded the phase-3 trials for this drug, the company submitted its application to FDA on August 29th, 2014, so that it could manufacture and distribute Evolocumab to patients seeking treatment of high cholesterol. As per Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN), this drug has also been designed to genetically inherited high cholesterol level and has been conferred ‘Orphan Drug Designation’ by FDA in 2013.
Its competitive version which has been developed by Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) has been christened Alirocumab and as per the partners, it has also successfully met the objective of clearing nine trials. During the trial, which had been named Odyssey owing to its long schedule, observations proved that patients who were administered this drug for 24 weeks showed considerable reduction in percentage of LDL cholesterol as compared to those who had been given placebo.
To ensure that their drug would be the first to hit the market, Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) made a payment of $67.5 million to FDA so that the duration of review as per regulation would come down by four months, meaning instead of 10 it will be completed in six. This move was explained by Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY)’s R&D head, Elias Zerhouni in the following statement –
“We don’t like to be number two; we want to be number one.”
WHO revealed that heart disease claimed as many as 25% victims in 2012 and this is reason enough for companies like Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN), Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) to be the first to launch their creation on to the market.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.