Down 20% so far this year, Schering-Plough
In a phase 3 trial, the drugmaker's corifollitropin alfa was at least as good at helping women undergoing fertility treatments to get pregnant as its currently available treatment, Follistim. The new drug also seemed to cause more eggs to be released than the already-approved drug, although the clinical trial was only designed to test that the new drug wasn't worse than the old one. Its proven "non-inferiority" may not sound like much of an advantage, but the drug requires only one shot in the first seven days of treatment as opposed to daily doses of Follistim.
Corifollitropin alfa is part of the well-stocked pipeline that Schering got when it purchased Dutch Akzo Nobel's (Other OTC: AKZOY.PK) Organon BioSciences subsidiary. The purchase should begin to pay off in the not-too-distant future since both anesthesia reversal agent Bridion and antipsychotic asenapine are under FDA review.
Along with the pipeline, Schering acquired approved drugs, including Follistim, which managed $145 million in sales last quarter. That's not exactly blockbuster status, but if the idea of fewer injections pushes more women into fertility treatments, combined sales of Follistim and corifollitropin alfa could help move the drug category closer to that $1 billion, blockbuster status.
Just as Pfizer
So far, at least, its newest fertility treatment drug looks like a nice addition to the family.