The Multiple Sclerosis Market Will Grow 10 Percent Annually Through 2018 As Time-Tested Therapies Lose Ground to New Entrants

Promising Disease-Modifying Alternatives Will Further Complicate an Already Complex Treatment Algorithm, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

Jul 25, 2013, 09:00 ET from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass., July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the market for disease-modifying multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies will expand at an annual rate of 10 percent through 2018, peaking at nearly $21 billion in that year. Market growth will be driven by the launch of at least six premium-priced disease-modifying therapies and forecast price increases in the U.S. market. Among new entrants, Biogen Idec's Tecfidera is expected to have the greatest clinical and commercial success—owing to its compelling clinical profile—and will capture more than $4 billion in 2018 sales in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.


The Pharmacor advisory service entitled Multiple Sclerosis finds that the coming years will usher in a transformative era as the burgeoning number of treatment options fragment and further complicate an already complex treatment algorithm. Recent launches of additional oral agents, including Tecfidera and Genzyme's (a Sanofi company) Aubagio, will be followed by the emergence of more-convenient reformulations of platform injectables and three highly efficacious monoclonal antibodies— Genzyme/Bayer HealthCare's Lemtrada,  Roche/Genentech's ocrelizumab and Biogen Idec/AbbVie's daclizumab. Initial uptake of novel therapies will be constrained as a conservative prescriber base, grappling with these agents' unique risks and benefits, continues to rely on time-tested products. However, reliance on current mainstays will decrease over time as neurologists gain confidence in and clinical experience with newer therapies. Conversely, Biogen Idec's Tysabri will remain a valued treatment option thanks to progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy risk stratification protocols, which permit the selection of best-fit candidates and marks an important step in tailoring treatment choice in MS.

The report also finds that a significant commercial milestone and key inflection point in the MS market will be the launch of the first generic disease-modifying drugs, in particular generic oral therapies, expected by the second half of the 2012 to 2022 forecast period. Lesser impact is expected from biosimilar interferon-betas, assuming such products reach the market within the next decade. In total, Decision Resources projects the availability of lower-cost alternatives will cause the market to contract by 3 percent annually from 2018 to 2022.

"The MS market stands at the beginning of a fundamental restructuring," said Decision Resources Senior Business Insights Analyst Georgiana L. Kuhlmann, S.M. "Given the need for enhanced therapeutic choice to enable individualized treatment decisions, we expect each new therapy can establish its own clinical niche. Also of particular interest is the resurgence of industry focus on developing much-needed treatments for progressive forms of MS, which could produce landmark approvals for this underserved patient population."

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