7 $1 billion-plus drugs seen reaching market in 2016

New Study Shows Promise of HIV Prevention Drug
New Study Shows Promise of HIV Prevention Drug

LONDON (Reuters) -- Drug companies are likely to launch seven "blockbuster" drugs in 2016, each with $1 billion-plus annual sales potential, led by new treatments for liver disease and HIV, according to a Thomson Reuters analysis.

The assessment means the pharmaceuticals industry is on track for another productive year, although not as good as 2015, which saw the arrival of 11 new blockbusters.

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The two top hits of 2016 are tipped to be Intercept Pharmaceuticals' chronic liver disease drug obeticholic acid, with a consensus sales forecast of $2.6 billion in 2020, and Gilead Sciences' new fixed dose HIV drug emtricitabine plus tenofovir alafenamide, on $2.0 billion.

Other products expected to launch this year with forecast sales above $1 billion in 2020 include a new hepatitis C drug from Merck and a leukemia medicine from AbbVie, according to the annual "Drugs to Watch" report.

Two keenly awaited Roche drugs, each with forecast sales of around $3 billion, are not on list because it is unclear if atezolizumab for cancer and ocrelizumab for multiple sclerosis will be commercially available this year or next.

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