Effient and Onglyza Launches "Sluggish"; Multaq More Hopeful

Multaq is kicking ass but the launches of Onglyza and Effient are "sluggish," according to an investors' note from Leerink Swann's Seamus Fernandez and Kathryn C. Alexander. The pair looked at data from the first five weeks after the launches. The next few weeks will be the key period, they say.

While Sanofi-Aventis will no doubt cheer that its Multaq anticoagulant* atrial fibrillation drug is beating out Eli Lilly's Effient, all three launches appear to be modest affairs so far. AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Onglyza (diabetes) is only adding about 400 scrips a week.

By comparison, When Pfizer launched Lyrica, it achieved roughly quintuple what any of these drugs have achieved in the same time period. Here's a snapshot:

  • Company, Brand, NRX
  • Sanofi, Multaq, 3,606
  • Lilly, Effient 1,823
  • AZ/BMS, Onglyza, 1,534
  • Cumulative 5 week NRX data from IMS/Leerink Swann
Leerink's note said:
These IMS data reinforce our view that Effient's U.S. launch will be muted, and we will continue to monitor Onglyza and Effient NRx closely for an inflection point.
The authors note that summer is a slow period for launches and the numbers may pick up as people go back to work.

And finally: If Effient (prasugrel) emerges as a lame horse, it only puts more pressure on Lilly to make another acquisition.

* Correction: Ooops! My bad. Of course Multaq is not an anticoagulant. It's an atrial fibrillation drug.