Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Will Medivation PREVAIL in Prostate Cancer?

Medivation’s (MDVN-$57.57) senior management remains upbeat on growth prospects for the prostate cancer drug Xtandi. In fact, chief executive officer David Hung boasted to analysts on the second-quarter earnings call that Xtandi is “quickly becoming the leading therapy in the post-docetaxel market.”

However, Xtandi’s clinical advantages versus Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) competitor Zytiga – dosing without regard to timing of meals or concomitant steroid use and monthly monitoring, such as liver function testing – haven’t proven attractive enough to change physician prescribing habits. In fact, market data available through April continued to show Zytiga held a 57% share of the chemo-refractory mCRPC market, compared with Xtandi’s roughly 30% share.

Although physician enthusiasm for Xtandi remains high in the post-chemo setting mCRPC, a confluence of issues could prove problematic to Xtandi gaining any material ground against Zytiga. In particular, post-launch experience is showing that Zytiga’s approved labeling to be used in a broader clinical spectrum of prostate cancer and Xtandi’s aggressive cost (average wholesale price of $7,450 for a 30-day supply is roughly 28% more expensive than Zytiga) may hinder Xtandi’s reimbursement and uptake -- especially in economically-depressed countries in the EU, like France, Greece and Spain


Editor David J Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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