TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis Study Uncovers Early Impact of Gilenya on Perceptions and Anticipated Use of Products Within the MS Market

Dec 01, 2010, 09:00 ET from BioTrends Research Group, Inc.

EXTON, Pa., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends recently published TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis, a syndicated  biannual report that provides a comprehensive view of the current and expected future management of multiple sclerosis (MS) based on primary research fielded with 103 neurologists in the U.S. A parallel report covering the European market (EU5) will be published later this month. These reports cover the use of disease-modifying agents (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 were queried about their awareness of and interest in MS-related DMA and symptomatic products in development.

The U.S. study, based on feedback gathered in late October/early November 2010, found that the recent commercial availability of Novartis's Gilenya, the first oral DMA, has already had significant impact on neurologists' perceptions of the traditional injectable DMAs. At one month post launch, over two-fifths of neurologists report use of the product in RRMS patients and even more anticipate trial among RRMS patients within the next six months. The uptake of Gilenya will be explored further in LaunchTrends®: Gilenya, a three wave report series which will track the product at one, three and six months post commercial availability. Neurologists' uptake of Extavia, Novartis's other recently launched DMA, continues to be limited with only about four out of 10 survey respondents reporting trial one year after availability. With the recent bout of market activity, neurologists' anticipate significant changes in their use of DMAs in the next six months.

In terms of new DMAs, neurologists report a high unmet need for products with long term safety data. In fact, this attribute has become more important compared to results from the prior wave of research fielded in Q1 2010, while oral formulations and less frequent dosing have decreased in importance in terms of areas of unmet need. Among seven therapies in development that were profiled in the research, interest was highest for Teva's laquinimod and Biogen Idec's BG-12. Recent market news has negatively impacted perceptions of EMD Serono's Movectro (oral cladribine).

Trial of Acorda's Ampyra (dalfampridine), the first symptomatic agent approved for MS patients, continues to be high seven months post-launch. With greater familiarity and usage, a clearer picture is emerging about the average discontinuation rate and anticipated uptake of Ampyra. While awareness of the five surveyed MS-related symptomatic products is low, neurologists report moderate levels of interest in the products and believe products impacting spasticity (i.e. Otsuka's Sativex) or walking impairment (i.e. Sanofi-Aventis' nerispirdine) would provide the greatest clinical value to their practice.

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