Back in April, Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX -0.12%)won Food and Drug Administration approval for its new drug Ogentys to be used in conjunction with Parkinson's disease treatment levodopa, but its launch was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the drug is finally hitting the market.
A COMT inhibitor, Ongentys reduces symptoms by interfering with an enzyme that breaks down the commonly prescribed Parkinson's drug levodopa. By extending levodopa's bioavailability, Ongentys reduces the periods when patients experience the involuntary movements (dyskinesia) that are among the disease's symptoms.
Supply constraints and limitations on patient visits with doctors prompted the biotech company to delay the drug launch. Monday's announcement suggests management has overcome the supply chain bottleneck, and that the company is ready to begin marketing Ongentys as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
There could be significant demand for the drug because roughly 70% of the 1 million Americans with Parkinson's disease currently take levodopa. Given that, and Ongentys $590 per month price tag, this launch could meaningfully increase Neurocrine Biosciences revenue, which totaled $302.4 million in the second quarter, up 65% year over year.