The Crazy World We Live In
According to an article that appeared in today’s Chicago Sun-Times; “A medical mystery: As overall cancer rates fall, why are thyroid cancer rates rising? Diagnoses of cancer in this gland in the neck are increasing about 6 percent a year, faster than cancers found anywhere else, according to one National Cancer Institute analysis.”
This fact is not lost on the folks at Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) who are awaiting word from the FDA on how they will proceed with the approval of Victoza. According to the last public comments made by Novo earlier this month they expect a response from the FDA by the end of the current quarter. Exactly what type of response is anyone’s guess as the company has provided a series of rather lengthy explanations on what might happen.
This report by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is just the latest news that could not only delay Victoza further but make marketing of Victoza more problematic should Victoza eventually gain approval. The silver lining in the NCI report is something the company pointed out when they faced the FDA advisory panel; while the incidence rates for thyroid cancer are increasing mortality rates are not.
Watching all this with some amusement are the folks at Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) and Lilly (NYSE:LLY) who are anxiously awaiting approval of the long-acting once-a-week version of Byetta. Given the way events are transpiring the possibility now exists that LAR could actually be approved before Victoza giving Amylin and Lilly the upper-hand. As Barton Biggs once said “Events always take much longer to develop than expected, but once they begin, they occur much faster and go much farther than anticipated.”