(Corrects to show year as 2022, not 2020, in first paragraph)
FRANKFURT, June 12 Germany's Merck KGaA
said its forecast of 2 billion euros ($2.24 billion)
in 2022 sales from drugs under development was above the analyst
consensus mainly because of the underrated potential of cancer
drug avelumab and multiple sclerosis treatment cladribine.
"We take a slightly more bold view on avelumab," Rehan
Verjee, chief strategy officer at Merck's healthcare unit, told
analysts in a call.
"We consider cladribine a prospect. Clearly we appreciate
that hasn't been something that many of you have actually looked
at or considered a reality," he said, also pointing to
experimental lung cancer drug tepotinib as being among other
MS drug cladribine, which is under review by European
regulators, might also be filed for regulatory approval in the
United States, depending on ongoing discussions with the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration.
Avelumab, branded as Bavencio, is being co-developed with
($1 = 0.8926 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)