Analyst bets on approval of Pfizer's lung cancer drug

Following the impressive data Pfizer presented at ASCO for its lung cancer drug crizotinib, Credit Suisse analyst Catherine Arnold predicts the drug has an 80 percent chance of winning FDA approval later this year. That's much-needed good news for the drug giant, which stands to lose $29.2 billion in revenue from patent expirations by 2013.

At the ASCO meeting earlier this month, Pfizer unveiled data that demonstrated the lung drug, which is tailored to treat the 3% to 5% of patients with ALK-positive cases, doubled survival time compared with average survival rates. The limited patient population for the drug underscore's Pfizer's plan to worry less about treating a large number of people and more on developing highly effective, focused drugs for rare diseases. Two more late-stage studies are under way in patients who've failed other therapies and those who are new to treatment. Pfizer's already received fast-track designation for its drug and started submitting data to the FDA in January.

According to the Associated Press, Arnold says Pfizer has an 80% chance of winning FDA approval in the fourth quarter of this year. She added that the drug could bring in $1 billion in sales for Pfizer by 2015, and up to $1.5 billion by 2020.

- check out the AP report

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