Image via WikipediaFederal regulators approved 26 new medicines in 2009 compared with 25 in 2008, though several key drugs that were expected to reach store shelves didn't.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved 26 first-of-a-kind medicines in 2009, more than in any of the prior four years, according to an analysis by the research firm Washington Analysis.
New products include two drugs to treat advanced kidney cancer: GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Votrient and Novartis AG's (NVS) Afinitor. Also approved were a new blood thinner from Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) and Daiichi Sankyo Co. (4568.TO), called Effient, and a medicine from Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY), Multaq, that restores heart rhythm.
Effient and Multaq are being closely watched by analysts as they can be used to treat large populations and have the potential to be billion-dollar-a-year drugs.