EXTON, Pa.--()--BioTrends Research Group, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that the average satisfaction rating for Biogen Idec / Elan’s Tysabri has increased significantly compared to a year ago with a parallel increase seen in Tysabri’s multiple sclerosis (MS) patient share over the same period. Data from the recently published TreatmentTrends: Multiple Sclerosis (US) Q3 2012 suggest that increased comfort with Tysabri’s risk-benefit profile, driven in part by strong awareness, adoption, and confidence with strong awareness and adoption of and confidence with the anti-JC virus antibody assay, which is used to help mitigate the progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) risk associated with Tysabri treatment, may be influencing Tysabri perceptions and prescribing behaviors among neurologists. Nevertheless, 48 percent of neurologists continue to see Tysabri as most appropriate as a third-line or later disease-modifying agent (DMA). Among the other DMAs, the greatest percent of surveyed neurologists see Biogen Idec’s Avonex and Teva’s Copaxone as most appropriate for mild-to-moderate, treatment-naïve patients, Pfizer / EMD Serono’s Rebif for highly active, treatment-naïve patients, and Novartis’s Gilenya for second-line therapy. In fact, compared to Q3 2011, significantly more neurologists choose Gilenya as their preferred second-line DMA (12 versus 3 percent) and Tysabri as their preferred third-line DMA (35 versus 17 percent) for relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients. Over the next six months, even as both products’ prescriber bases are anticipated to remain stable, neurologists anticipate significant increases in Gilenya share among RRMS and progressive relapsing MS patients and Tysabri share among primary progressive MS patients.
Fielded prior to the U.S. approval of Sanofi’s Aubagio on September 12, survey data indicate that pre-approval awareness of Aubagio, the second oral DMA that will reach the market, appears low with only 38 percent of U.S. neurologists reporting top-of-mind awareness and 57 percent aided awareness. Instead, awareness and perceptions of clinical value remain focused on Biogen Idec’s BG-12, Teva’s laquinimod, and Sanofi / Bayer’s alemtuzumab. BG-12, clearly a favorite of surveyed neurologists, is set apart by expectations of strong efficacy, coupled with a favorable tolerability profile and oral administration. While neurologists are split on which current DMA may be most at risk with the imminent launch of Aubagio, significantly more neurologists believe that BG-12, if launched, would compete directly with Gilenya (24 percent of neurologists) compared to a year ago (12 percent).
TreatmentTrends: Multiple Sclerosis (US) is a syndicated quarterly report series that provides a comprehensive view of the current and expected future management of MS based on primary research with neurologists. The Q3 2012 wave was fielded with 100 neurologists in the U. S. in August 2012. A parallel report covering the European market (EU5) is also available. These reports cover the use of DMAs for the treatment of MS, as well as attitudes and perceptions toward these products, advantages and disadvantages, ideal patient types, barriers to growth, and expected future use. In addition, respondents are queried about their awareness of and interest in DMAs in development.
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