SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- The prostate cancer drug Xtandi, developed by Medivation's (MDVN) and sold through a marketing partnership with Astellas, continues post better-than-expected sales numbers. Late last week, Astellas reported third-quarter Xtandi revenue of $181 million in the U.S, topping consensus estimates. In addition, Astellas raised their 2014 guidance for Xtandi sales to between $600M-640 million, which implies Medivation revenues of between $300-320 million, an 11% increase from the original guidance. [Medivation reports its own third-quarter results on Thursday.]
The strength in Xtandi sales is coming at the expense of Zytiga, the competing prostate cancer drug sold by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) . The clinical data demonstrate Xtandi's superiority over Zytiga, which is now translating into solid market share and revenue advantages. If the battle with J&J is won, what's next for Medivation?
Perhaps the biggest catalyst coming up is the presentation of Xtandi breast cancer data at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 9-13. At this point, most investors are waiting to see the data before including any breast cancer revenue in their Xtandi financial models. A good showing, then, should spark investors to start increasing their peak sales estimates.
Medivation began this process by licensing an anti-PD-1 antibody already in a couple of phase II trials. We all know immuno-oncology is a hot space, but it's also crowded, especially with antibodies targeting PD-1 and its associated ligand. Even if Medivation made a wise choice with its anti-PD-1 antibody and its ultimately gets approved, the drug still faces significant competition.