A pill dubbed Gilenya by Novartis, for multiple sclerosis (MS) has been approved in Russia. With this achievement, the Swiss drug manufacturer is hopeful of getting a green flag from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Gilenya might get a thumbs-up from the FDA on Sept. 21 in the US, and prove to be a great option for those who are suffering from relapsing MS.
If victorious, the drug would give direct competition to cladribine, a product of German group Merck KGaA, for treating multiple sclerosis. It is noteworthy that cladribine got its first approval in July from Russia, which gave the German drug manufacturer an upper edge in the market.
Shares of Novartis surged 1.1% at 54.9 Swiss francs ($54.09) by 1019 GMT, beating a flat European pharmaceuticals sector .SXDP.
Kepler Capital Markets Analyst Tero Weckroth said, "We expect U. S. approval in September. Although we are concerned about the speed of the sales growth after launch, the U. S. approval could be a positive trigger for Novartis".
At present, there are only injectable drugs available in the market for the treatment of MS, in a market that is valued at around $8.6 billion a year.
Biogen Idec Inc., Bayer AG, Novartis and Teva are the major Companies who have their products in the market.