Drug development can be a roller coaster -- sometimes with just a single drug.
Last month, Pfizer
That's a lot different from saying Sutent failed -- it just couldn't do better than what's already available. Sutent still has a chance to enter the breast cancer market, since the drug is still being tested in three phase 3 trials and two phase 2 trials. In one, Pfizer is going the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" route by testing Sutent in combination with Xeloda. It's also challenging Roche's Avastin and sanofi-aventis'
Even if it fails to show an effect in breast cancer, Sutent is a mighty fine drug for Pfizer. Sutent is already approved for treating gastrointestinal and kidney cancers and managed $847 million in sales last year. A likely approval for the rare pancreatic cancer should push the drug into the magical blockbuster status.
However, Sutent's failure is a reminder to investors with high hopes for drugs such as Novartis'
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