EXTON, Pa., Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that two-thirds of surveyed U.S. neurologists have prescribed Genzyme's Aubagio, the second oral disease-modifying therapy (DMT) to reach the multiple sclerosis (MS) market, to at least one of their MS patients at one year post-launch. This increase in prescriber base represents a modest expansion compared with six months ago when Biogen Idec's Tecfidera, the third oral DMT to market, became commercially available.
Neurologist-reported patient share for Aubagio among relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) patients treated with DMTs has also remained stable at two percent over the past six months. Reflecting increased product awareness and neurologist familiarity compared with earlier in the launch, significantly more surveyed neurologists now know that Aubagio is dosed once daily, providing a potential point of differentiation with recently launched, twice-daily Tecfidera. In fact, while Aubagio's oral formulation continues to be identified top-of-mind as the product's single biggest advantage compared with other currently available treatment options for MS, more surveyed neurologists now mention Aubagio's once-daily administration as its biggest advantage than at one, three, and six months post-launch.
The recently published LaunchTrends®: Aubagio Wave 4 report finds that, over the next six months, surveyed neurologists expect Aubagio's patient share among DMT-treated RR-MS patients to increase significantly to 6 percent. This patient share nearly matches that of Novartis's Gilenya (7 percent), the first-to-market oral DMT, but is substantially less than Tecfidera's anticipated 15 percent patient share. This increase in oral DMT prescribing is expected to pull share from across the platform injectable mainstays--Biogen Idec's Avonex, Bayer HealthCare's Betaseron, Teva's Copaxone and Pfizer/EMD Serono's Rebif.
"Uptake of Aubagio continues to be muted as a result of a stable DMT-treated patient population and safety concerns related to its pregnancy Category X label and hepatotoxicity risks," said BioTrends Research Group Senior Business Insights Analyst Emma Williams, Ph.D. "In addition, qualitative feedback from neurologists indicates that, after only six months on the market, Tecfidera is quickly becoming the preferred oral DMT among some neurologists, a sentiment driven by the drug's favorable risk-benefit profile."
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SOURCE BioTrends Research Group