3. Symdeko

(Vertex Pharmaceuticals)

Active ingredient: tezacaftor; ivacaftor
Disease: Cystic fibrosis
Peak sales estimate: $2.8 billion
Approved: Feb. 13, 2018
Company: Vertex 

The scoop: Vertex set blockbuster hopes for its combo cystic fibrosis treatment, Symdeko, way back in March of 2017, when it unveiled data showing the then-candidate drug was better at improving lung function than the company’s older combination treatment, Orkambi. Well now, Symdeko has arrived on the market, complete with a label that will make it easier for Vertex to live up to those high expectations. Vertex’s new dual-drug treatment doesn’t require specific blood-pressure monitoring, nor does it carry a warning about respiratory events, as Orkambi does. Symdeko has hit some launch hurdles—not the least of which is a spat over pricing in England—but it’s off to a strong start nonetheless. Symdeko sales of $255 million in the third quarter of 2018 helped drive Vertex’s total CF revenues up 45% year over year to $783 million. — Arlene Weintraub

3. Symdeko

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