February 2011 -- Merck Serono announced the marketing withdrawal of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis pill, Movectro (oral cladribine).
Trung Huynh, healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, comments:
“This is a major blow for Merck Serono. Its hopes to bolster its European MS portfolio are dashed. However, the news is not unsurprising as EU regulators rejected Movectro in September last year.”
“Approval in Russia and Australia is small consolation as safety issues continue to blight Merck Serono’s plan on growing its MS market share in key European regions.”
“Movectro was previously forecasted to make up to $400m a year across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. Without these future revenues, Merck Serono must now look to the US as its primary launch region. However, whether it can enter the US market remains to be seen in light if these recent developments.”
“Merck Serono’s loss is Novartis’s gain. The Swiss company can now grow its European market share with Gilenya relatively unopposed until the next nearest oral disease modifying therapy, Sanofi Aventis’s teriflunomide, is forecast to launch in 2013.”
Trung Huynh is available for comment
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