EXTON, Pa.--()--BioTrends Research Group, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that trial and uptake of Genentech’s Lucentis 0.3mg, the first and only approved medication for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) following 25 years of laser photocoagulation being considered the standard of care, has been robust following the August 2012 approval. During the first month of commercial availability, nearly three-quarters of Lucentis-treated patients are now being administered the DME 0.3mg dose [versus the 0.5mg dose approved for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion (RVO)]. In addition, data in the recently published TreatmentTrends®: Diabetic Retinopathy / Diabetic Macular Edema (US) report indicates that 59 percent of retinal specialists and 44 percent of general ophthalmologists are already stocking Lucentis 0.3mg (compared with 62 and 19 percent, respectively, for Lucentis 0.5mg).
Regardless of the early adoption of Lucentis 0.3mg, Genentech’s Avastin, approved for the treatment of solid tumors but administered off-label for ophthalmic indications due to its low cost yet similar mechanism of action to Lucentis, is the clear patient share leader capturing approximately three-quarters of intravitreal-treated patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) or DME. In fact, less than 20 percent of patients are currently treated with Lucentis or Regeneron’s Eylea (approved for wet AMD and central RVO but not DME) — highlighting cost and managed care coverage as obstacles within the diabetic ophthalmology market. While physicians are split on the potential impact of the recent approval of Lucentis 0.3mg, over 40 percent do believe the approval will have a positive impact on their willingness to prescribe Lucentis, with a similar percentage anticipating a spillover effect to other brands within the drug class. Indeed, over the next six months, surveyed physicians anticipate prescribing significantly more intravitreal pharmacotherapy, in general, and Lucentis and Eylea, in particular, to DR and DME patients — pulling predominantly from the use of laser photocoagulation treatment.
TreatmentTrends: Diabetic Retinopathy / Diabetic Macular Edema (US) is an annual syndicated primary market research report series that provides a comprehensive view of the current and expected future management of DR and DME, with a specific focus on the DME market. The survey was fielded in mid-September 2012 with 100 U.S. physicians, including 68 fellowship-trained retinal specialists and 32 board-certified general ophthalmologists, who personally administer intravitreal injections to their DME patients. The report covers the current treatment approach, with a specific focus on intravitreal pharmacotherapies, as well as attitudes and perceptions, 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 new and currently marketed products in late stage clinical development, specifically Alimera/pSivida’s Iluvien, Eylea, and Allergan’s Ozurdex.
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