With cancer rates on the rise, oncology drugs are more valuable and necessary now than ever before. For pharmaceutical companies, oncology drugs are guaranteed to generate revenue—and for patients, oncology drugs are critical for treatment. The top oncology companies are now developing more advanced, effective, and tolerable drugs to improve treatment outcomes and the patient experience, and are investing heavily in research and development to produce new, innovative, and powerful oncology drugs and treatments.
Here’s BizVibe’s list of the top 10 oncology drugs companies for 2017:
- Johnson & Johnson: Johnson & Johnson’s top-selling oncology drugs products include Velcade, which is used for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma; Zytiga, an androgen antagonist used to treat prostate cancer; and Imbruvica, which is used for the treatment of mantel cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocetic leukemia. Imbruvica’s sales total more than USD 5 billion annually. Johnson & Johnson generated revenue of USD 71.89 billion last year.
- Roche: Roche controls the biotechnology firm Genentech, which is responsible for the development of four major oncology drugs—Rituxan, Avastin, Herceptin and Tarceva. Rituxan, Avastin, and Herceptin are currently the top three most used cancer drugs in the world, and generate more than USD 20 billion in sales for Roche annually. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company employs more than 90,000 people and generated revenue of approximately USD 52.4 billion last year. Roche is one of the biggest oncology pharma companies in the world.
- Pfizer: Pfizer’s drug Sutent, which is used for the treatment of renal cell sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors, generates more than USD 1 billion in sales annually. The company was also recently granted US approval for its drug Bavencio, which is used to treat bladder cancer. Pfizer generated more than USD 52 billion in revenue last year, a number that is expected to increase as it continues to expand its portfolio of oncology drugs and generate new sales.
- Novartis: Novartis manufactures Gleevec, a top-selling oncology drug used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Gleevec’s sales total more than USD 4.5 billion each year. The company very recently obtained EU approval for Kisqali, a drug used as initial endocrine-based therapy to treat locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Novartis generated revenue of USD 48.51 billion last year.
- Merck: Sales of Keytruda, Merck’s drug for skin and lung cancers, more than doubled in the first quarter of 2017, totalling USD 584 million. The development of Keytruda and other new oncology drugs has been critical for Merck over the past few years, allowing it to better compete with other major oncology pharma companies. Notably, Merck manufacturers the Gardasil vaccine, used to help prevent cervical cancer. Merck’s revenue forecast for 2017 is currently between USD 39.1 billion and USD 40.3 billion. In 2016, the company generated revenue of more than USD 35 billion.
- Celgene: Celgene specializes in the discovery and development of medicines for cancer and inflammatory disorders. In Q4 of 2016, the company’s net product sales totaled USD 2.98 billion, and the company employed more than 2,000 people. Celgene develops and manufactures Revlimid, one of the world’s best-selling oncology drugs, which was created to treat multiple myeloma. Sales of Revlimid total more than USD 4 billion annually.
- AbbVie: AbbVie generated revenue of USD 25.63 billion in 2016, with approximately USD 1.83 billion of that coming from the oncology segment. In 2015, AbbVie acquired Pharmalytics, an oncology firm, and Pharmalytics’s blood cancer treatment, ibrutinib. Global sales of ibrutinib were projected to be worth USD 1 billion in 2016.
- AstraZeneca: In 2015, AstraZeneca was the world’s eighth-largest pharmaceutical company in the world in terms of revenue. Much of its revenue is generated through the sale of its oncology drugs and products, including Zoladex, which is used to treat prostate and breast cancers and accounts for USD 1 billion in sales annually. In 2013, the company acquired biotech oncology company Spirogen, an acquisition that expanded AstraZeneca’s portfolio of oncology drugs and helped to establish them as an authority in this area. AstraZeneca generated more than USD 23 billion in revenue last year.
- Eli Lilly: Roughly USD 3.72 billion of Lilly’s total USD USD 21 billion revenue from 2016 was generated from the company’s oncology segment. Sales of its top-selling oncology drug, Almita, generated USD 2.5 billion last year. Almita is used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancers.
- Bristol-Meyers Squibb: BMS has a wide portfolio of oncology drugs, including BiCNU, CeeNU, Vrozia, Ixempra, Lysodren, Opdivo, and Empliciti. The company’s top-selling oncology drugs, Erbitux and Yervoy, generated USD 1.9 billion and USD 960 million respectively in 2016. The company generated total revenue of USD 16.56 billion last year.
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