Oral Formulation Drives Early Trial of Genzyme's Aubagio, Although Safety Concerns are Identified as Obstacles at One Month Post-Launch, According to a Recent BioTrends Report

Jan 09, 2013, 08:00 ET from BioTrends Research Group

EXTON, Pa., Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that 16 percent of surveyed U.S. neurologists have initiated a trial of Genzyme's Aubagio, the second oral disease-modifying agent (DMA) to the multiple sclerosis (MS) market at one month post-launch, capturing less than one percent share among DMA-treated relapsing remitting MS patients. With Aubagio's oral administration clearly identified as the biggest product advantage, neurologists most associate Aubagio with favorable route of administration and patient convenience - surpassing even the first oral DMA to the market, Novartis's Gilenya. However, data from the recently published LaunchTrends®: Aubagio Wave 1 report suggest that early trial and uptake of Aubagio may be hampered by concerns related to hepatotoxicity risks, teratogenic labeling, and / or cost. While early measures of Aubagio awareness, interest, and prescribing are on par with Gilenya's following its 2010 launch, familiarity with Aubagio at one month post-launch lags behind that reported for Gilenya at one month post-launch, suggesting that increased marketing and education outreach could help drive expanded Aubagio uptake.

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Over the next six months, neurologists believe that Aubagio patient share will increase to over 6 percent, pulling from Biogen Idec's Avonex, Bayer's Betaseron, Teva's Copaxone, and Pfizer / EMD Serono's Rebif share. Aubagio growth will be driven by both prescriber base expansion, with three-quarters of current non-prescribers anticipating initiating an Aubagio trial within the next six months, and patient volume growth per neurologist. Qualitative feedback suggests that neurologists who do not anticipate prescribing Aubagio over the next six months are most likely holding out for future DMA launches, specifically that of Biogen Idec's BG-12. In fact, even among Aubagio prescribers, Aubagio uptake may be muted as neurologists report being more likely to recommend waiting for BG-12 or to suggest Gilenya as a treatment option to patients who request an oral DMA.

LaunchTrends: Aubagio is a four-wave syndicated report series that specifically tracks the introduction of Aubagio into the market, based on data collected at one month, three months, six months and one year post-commercial availability of Aubagio from primary research with neurologists. The first wave was fielded November 12-13, 2012 with 74 U.S. neurologists followed by qualitative interviews with a subset of 15 survey respondents. Along with awareness and sources of familiarity, the reports assess neurologists' trial, adoption and usage, including anticipated future trends, of Aubagio within the MS market. The reports also provide information on product perceptions, satisfaction, obstacles to use, drivers of prescribing, patient types, displacement of competitors, Genzyme promotional efforts, and benchmarking against other previously launched MS agents.

In addition to the LaunchTrends: Aubagio report series, BioTrends will track the U.S. uptake of Aubagio in the quarterly TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis (US) report series and the annual ChartTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis (US) patient audit of 1,000+ MS patients. These syndicated primary research reports provide a broader MS market landscape view, including all currently approved DMAs and DMAs in late-stage clinical development.

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