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An upcoming merger agreement between Pfizer and Anacor, worth around $5.2 billion, could boost the marketing power of Anacor's lead pipeline candidate, crisaborole, and pave the way for Pfizer to launch its own candidate, a topical form of Xeljanz, both for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
As explored in GlobalData's report on atopic dermatitis, with the expected launch in the second quarter of 2017 of Regeneron and Sanofi's dupilumab, the severe atopic dermatitis market is set to be a difficult one for new entrants to penetrate.
Crisaborole, however, will not face serious competition as it enters a dormant mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis market.
Dr Abhilok Garg, GlobalData's Analyst covering Immunology, states: "Prior to Pfizer's interest in Anacor, GlobalData anticipated a US-only launch of crisaborole in 2017, with sales potential just shy of $200 million by 2024. However, Pfizer backing the launch of crisaborole across the seven major markets (7MM) of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Japan, would substantially increase the available patient population for the drug, involving a further six million treatable patients by 2024."
Despite this, the drug will still face competition. In anticipation of crisaborole's first-to-market advantage in the mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis space, other companies targeting this portion of the market have taken steps to secure a position.