BURLINGTON, Mass., May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that a greater effect on depressive symptoms than current treatments is one of the greatest unmet needs in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD)*, according to insights from surveyed psychiatrists in the United States and Europe as well as U.S. managed care organizations' (MCOs') pharmacy directors. Pharmacological treatment for TRD most typically involves switching, combining (two antidepressants from different classes) or augmenting (combining another agent with an antidepressant). The atypical antipsychotics Abilify (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka Pharmaceutical's aripiprazole) and Seroquel XR (AstraZeneca's quetiapine XR, generics in the United Kingdom and Germany) are two therapies approved as adjunct therapies to antidepressants in the U.S. and are also used in this patient population.
"Adjunctive treatment with atypical antipsychotics, though considered effective by thought-leaders, generally results in significant weight gain, and so emerging therapies could differentiate themselves in the marketplace by demonstrating both efficacy in TRD and by having a more tolerable weight gain profile," said Decision Resources Analyst Alana Simorellis, Ph.D.
The DecisionBase 2013 report entitled In the Crowded Antidepressant Market Space, What Are the Remaining Opportunities for New Therapies for TRD? also finds that surveyed pharmacy directors are more receptive to a therapy offering improvements in depressive symptoms over aripiprazole compared with a therapy offering improvements in weight gain or sexual dysfunction. This finding suggests that cost-sensitive payers consider efficacy improvements to be of greater value than improvements in tolerability.
Surveyed U.S. psychiatrists expect to prescribe Eli Lilly's emerging therapy edivoxetine to 25 percent of their patients with TRD. Decision Resources forecasts that edivoxetine will earn a U.S. patient share for TRD similar to surveyed psychiatrists' estimate by 2021, based on top-line results from Phase II/III trials of edivoxetine as an adjunct therapy to SSRIs and positive Phase II/III monotherapy results in patients with major depressive disorder.
Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that, among emerging therapies profiled in the report, Eli Lilly's edivoxetine shows considerable promise as an adjunct to antidepressant therapy. Additionally, edivoxetine appears to offer a more favorable profile in terms of neurological side effects and risk of weight-gain relative to the atypical antipsychotics.
*The majority of physicians interviewed and surveyed by Decision Resources consider a patient "treatment-resistant" if depressive symptoms persist despite treatment with at least two different trials of antidepressant drugs from two different drug classes.
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SOURCE Decision Resources