Recent Eylea Growth Appears to be Coming from Expanded Uptake Among Prescribers Rather than from Initial Trial Among Late Adopters, According to a Recent BioTrends Report

Jan 07, 2013, 08:00 ET from BioTrends Research Group

EXTON, Penn., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that, after one year on the market, 86 percent of U.S. retinal specialists have prescribed Regeneron's Eylea to at least one of their patients, a non-significant increase from six months post-launch (76 percent). Although Eylea prescriber base growth has been minimal, the mean Eylea patient volume per prescriber has increased significantly compared to previous waves, suggesting expanded uptake among Eylea prescribers. The LaunchTrends®: Eylea Wave 4 report also finds that retinal specialists currently treat 15 percent of intravitreal-pharmaceutically-treated wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients with Eylea, representing a significant increase compared to previous waves. Eylea-treated patients continue to be largely switched to Eylea, either from Roche/Genentech's Lucentis or Avastin, as opposed to being started on Eylea as their first-line therapy, although significantly more retinal specialists now voice first-line preference for Eylea compared to one month post-launch. It is important to note, however, that Avastin continues to be preferred as a first-line treatment option, largely due to its cost, while Eylea primarily competes with Lucentis for second-line preference.

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Similar to previous waves, Eylea's approved dosing frequency, which is associated with less frequent injections and office visits, is reported unaided as the biggest advantage of the agent compared to other treatment options, and is considered the main driver for uptake among prescribers. Retinal specialists continue to perceive Eylea's cost as its main disadvantage and as the biggest obstacle to increased use, although they rate the managed care approval process for Eylea as being significantly easier compared to one and three months post-launch, and consider the agent to be performing significantly better on managed care coverage.

Among the few retinal specialists who have never prescribed Eylea for wet AMD, three-fifths expect to prescribe Eylea over the next six months, suggesting that 94 percent of retinal specialists will have tried Eylea by 18 months post-launch. In fact, retinal specialists anticipate Eylea share among wet AMD patients to increase significantly to 26 percent over the next six months, second only to Avastin at 54 percent. This clearly bodes well for continued trial and uptake of the agent for wet AMD.

LaunchTrends®: Eylea is a four-wave syndicated report series designed to track the uptake of Eylea at one month, three months, six months and one year following its commercial availability based upon primary research with retinal specialists. LaunchTrends assess trial and use of new products, obstacles to use, reasons to use, typical patient types, line of therapy, product perceptions, promotional efforts/messages and product satisfaction. In the current wave of research, which measures Eylea's market impact at one year post-launch, BioTrends surveyed 99 U.S. retinal specialists and conducted qualitative interviews with a subset of 15 of the respondents in November 2012.

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SOURCE BioTrends Research Group