…As Germany’s orbiting X-ray telescope, eRosita sends first images***
The new muscle disease treatment Zolgensma, known as the world’s most expensive medicine, has emerged as one of the main growth products for Novartis.
The Swiss company said on Tuesday as it presented its third-quarter earnings in Basel.
The one-dose gene therapy for children with spinal muscular atrophy was approved by U.S. regulators in May and carries a price tag of 2.1 million dollars.
Zolgensma delivered 160 million dollars in revenues between July and September, Novartis said, revealing sales figures for the product for the first time.
Half of the Zolgensma patients switched from a rival medication made by the U.S. company Biogen, according to Novartis.
The Swiss pharmaceutical giant listed Zolgensma as one of its three most important growth drivers, along with psoriasis and arthritis medication Cosentyx, and Entresto, which is used to treat chronic heart conditions.
Novartis’ total sales rose 10 per cent to 12.2 billion dollars in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2018, while the net profit rose 8 per cent to reach 2 billion dollars.
While Zolgensma has been successful in the U.S., it has yet to win regulatory approval in the European Union and Japan.
Novartis chief executive Vas Narasimhan denied that this has anything to do with recently revealed research data manipulation for Zolgensma, but he said that there are still open questions regarding the production of this medication.
In another development, Germany’s eRosita X-ray telescope has transmitted its first images since being launched on July 13.
The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics said from its base in Garching near Munich on Tuesday.
The images show our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, along with two other galaxy clusters some 800 million light years away.
The images show hot gases and remains from supernova explosions of stars
“The first images our telescope has transmitted show the true beauty of the hidden universe,’’ project leader Peter Predehl said.
The research aims to reveal the structure of the universe using X-rays.
The key is galaxy clusters collections of thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity.
The temperatures are so high 100 million degrees Celsius – that the gas sends out X-rays that eRosita is able to pick up.