Nearly Half of Surveyed European Retinal Specialists Currently Treat Wet AMD Patients with Bayer's Eylea Eight Months after Its Approval

Novartis's Lucentis Remains the Most Preferred Intravitreal Pharmacotherapy for Wet AMD Across the EU5, According to a New Report from BioTrends Research Group

Oct 17, 2013, 09:00 ET from BioTrends Research Group

EXTON, Pa., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that, eight months after the approval of Bayer's Eylea for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), nearly half of surveyed retinal specialists in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) currently treat their wet AMD patients who receive intravitreal pharmacotherapy (IVT) with Eylea. Retinal specialists report that Eylea, which boasts a notable dosing advantage over other currently available IVTs, captures 8 percent patient share among these patients. Data show that the early uptake of the drug is primarily driven by retinal specialists in Germany, where the product is significantly more likely to be included on formularies compared with the other EU5 countries, due to the statutory health insurance system's obligation to reimburse drugs immediately following European approval.


The recently published TreatmentTrends: Dry/Wet AMD 2013 (EU) report finds that, despite the launch of Eylea, physician-reported patient shares for Roche/Genentech's Avastin and Novartis's Lucentis are unchanged since the previous year, with Lucentis remaining the patient share leader. In fact, surveyed retinal specialists continue to rank Lucentis as their most preferred IVT and their typical first-line choice for wet AMD, which is likely due to their experience with the drug and their positive perceptions across efficacy-, safety-, tolerability-, patient benefit- and company support-related attributes. Nevertheless, patient share for the drug among IVT-treated wet AMD patients is anticipated to significantly decrease over the next six months, as is patient share for Avastin. This shift will be accompanied by significant growth in patient share for Eylea as more retinal specialists introduce this newer agent into their practices.  

Survey findings also reveal that while respondents' awareness and familiarity with emerging AMD products queried is low, at least 62 percent of respondents express high interest in learning more about these therapies. More retinal specialists cite Otsuka/Acucela's ACU-4429 and Alcon's AL-8309B (in development for dry AMD), as well as Ophthotech's Fovista and Ohr Pharmaceutical's squalamine (in development for wet AMD) as having the potential to provide the most value to the treatment of their AMD patients than any other emerging products.

"The perceived value of ACU-4429 and AL-8309B is driven primarily by the lack of current treatment options for dry AMD," said BioTrends Research Group Senior Business Insights Analyst Emma Williams, Ph.D. "In contrast, the value of Fovista is supported by surveyed retinal specialists' perceptions of its efficacy, while administration and delivery are the main differentiators of squalamine, an eye drop. These findings underscore the many opportunities for new product differentiation that resonate with specialists in this field."

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