Huh? When? Novartis Submitted NDA for Fingolimod in December
While plowing through Novartis’s newly released financial report for 2009, I found this quiet gem: the “dossier” for Gilenia, the proposed trade name for fingolimod or FTY720, was submitted to the FDA and the European Medicines Agency in December. Now by “dossier,” I assume that the company means its new drug application for the investigational compound; certainly the media are reasonably interpreting dossier as NDA.
This under-the-radar news of the NDA submission comes as a surprise—not because the fingolimod NDA was submitted (that was actually expected back in December), but because the news was provided so sotto voce.* I merely stumbled across the information while I was looking for more dirt on the company’s recent Trileptal plea agreement.
And just in case I missed news of the NDA submission back in December (despite blogging semi-feverishly about the race between Novartis and Merck Serono to market the first-ever disease-modifying pill for multiple sclerosis), I rechecked the Google news archives. Nope, nothing.**
So the question is: Why no big announcement of the Gilenia NDA submission, Novartis? In typical fashion, Merck Serono trumpeted the submission of its NDA for the fast-track approval of oral cladribine in September.
Perhaps the answer has something to do with the FDA’s December announcement that it refused to file Merck Serono’s cladribine NDA. But I have to admit: I’m kind of flummoxed.
* Not to mention, a month after it happened.