Lilly's Xigris: Taking Intensive Care in Europe
Eli Lilly hopes that renewed focus on patient selection and a practical message targeted at a variety of hospital personnel--not just prescribers--can boost disappointing sales of its severe sepsis treatment, Xigris, as it gears up to launch the expensive treatment in the price-conscious and heterogeneous European market.
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In conjunction with the initial sales numbers for its sepsis drug, Xigris, manufacturer Eli Lilly cautioned that "the selection of patients with severe sepsis as indicated on the label has been complex for physicians initially." To address the knowledge gap, the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $6 million grant for a study of risk factors for sepsis, the first study of its kind and the biggest single R1 grant ever funded through NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The Xigris pivotal trial was the only one of 31 Phase III trials of sepsis drugs that didn't fail. "It's not just understanding how the drug works, it's believing in it," says the principal investigator for the NIH study, which should help move the process forward.