Novartis axes asthma drug fevipiprant after more trial woes

It’s nearly always bad news when pharma companies provide an “update” about a trial – and the statement today from Novartis about its asthma drug fevipiprant must make bleak reading for all those involved in its development. The Swiss firm has abandoned development of fevipiprant in asthma after another double phase 3 trial failure. Novartis has been active in respiratory diseases, with its Xolair asthma drug figuring among the big pharma’s top 20 drugs. While Xolair is something of an also-ran in terms of sales at around $300 million per quarter Novartis had been hoping that fevipiprant would prove to be a game-changer in some forms of asthma and generate blockbuster-level revenues in the process.

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