ZURICH, April 22 Novartis believes
GlaxoSmithKline's cancer drugs Votrient, Tafinlar and
Mekinist could have more than $1 billion in sales each, the head
of the Swiss company's pharmaceutical unit said on Tuesday.
"We believe Votrient, Tafinlar, Mekinist - assuming the
(combination) trial is positive for overall survival - all three
of these products could become blockbusters in our hands," David
Epstein told an investor call.
Novartis said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy GSK's cancer
drugs for $14.5 billion plus another $1.5 billion that depends
on the results of a trial in melanoma.
GSK has won priority review from U.S. regulators for the
dual use of Tafinlar, also known as dabrafenib, and Mekinist, or
trametinib, as a treatment for melanoma, the deadliest form of
Votrient, which has the chemical name pazopanib, has been
approved by many regulators as a treatment for advanced kidney
cancer and some types of soft cell sarcomas.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley)