EXTON, Penn., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that the recent commercial availability of Genzyme's Aubagio, the second oral disease-modifying agent (DMA) to the market following Novartis's launch of Gilenya in late 2010, is top of mind for few neurologists as a change in the management or treatment of their multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Instead, data from the recently published TreatmentTrends: Multiple Sclerosis (US) Q4 2012 suggest that prescribing changes related to Novartis's Gilenya and/or Biogen Idec/Elan's Tysabri and the incorporation of the anti-JC virus antibody assay (to provide progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy risk stratification) into their clinical practices are the most frequently mentioned recent changes over the past six months. With approximately one-half of surveyed neurologists reporting that the assay has had a positive impact on their willingness to prescribe Tysabri, it is not surprising that Tysabri share among DMA-treated relapsing remitting MS patients has increased significantly compared to a year ago. In addition, Gilenya, after a small share contraction prior to the May 2012 label revisions, has now seen two consecutive quarters of share growth with current weighted patient share up to almost six percent. At less than one month post-launch, 18 percent of neurologists have initiated an Aubagio trial resulting in 0.6 percent DMA-treated patient share — similar to that seen at one month post-launch for Gilenya in 2010. However, regardless of these recent market changes, Teva's Copaxone and Biogen Idec's Avonex remain the patient share leaders.
Unaided, Biogen Idec's BG-12 is the most frequently mentioned DMA in development, followed by Genzyme's Lemtrada and Teva's laquinimod. In fact, familiarity with and interest in BG-12 is significantly higher than any of the other surveyed DMAs in development with almost all neurologists choosing BG-12 as one of the DMAs in development that would bring substantial value to their treatment of MS patients, primarily due to its oral formulation and anticipated tolerability profile. Taken together, neurologists' perceptions across these metrics suggest that the opportunity for strong uptake exists at launch for BG-12 if given a positive FDA decision in late March.
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 Q4 2012 wave was fielded with 196 neurologists in the U.S. in November 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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