2. Briviact

FDA sign

Active ingredient: brivaracetam
Disease: epilepsy
Peak sales estimate: $583 million
Approved: Feb. 19
Company: UCB

The scoop: Belgium-based UCB has assembled an arsenal of seizure drugs, and Briviact is now its latest epilepsy-fighting weapon, approved as an add-on treatment for partial onset seizures in patients 16 and up. With the company’s blockbuster epilepsy med Keppra in decline, UCB is looking to Briviact and its cousin, Vimpat, to help fill that gap. But the new med joins not only UCB’s on the market, but many others--and many of those are cheap generics. So what’s different about Briviact? UCB is touting the fact that there’s no need for titration at the beginning of treatment; a therapeutic-level dose is taken on day one. The side effects are manageable, the company says. Plus, epilepsy can be tough to treat, and individual responses to meds can vary quite a bit. That means, as the FDA noted in approving Briviact, patients need more options. UCB isn’t expecting as much out of Briviact as it is of Vimpat, however; analysts have pegged the latter’s peak sales at $1.6 billion, whereas Briviact is more in the $580 million range. -- Tracy Staton

2. Briviact
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