US Dermatologists Report a Sizeable Portion of Their Atopic Dermatitis Patients Currently Treated with Sanofi/Regeneron's Dupixent Would be Switched to Another Targeted Therapy if Available
According to a recent study conducted by Spherix Global Insights, Dupixent continues to be well-received amongst US dermatologists, though overall use will likely take a hit once new advance systemic treatments become available.
EXTON, Pa., May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In Spherix's second quarter update of RealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis (US), Sanofi/Regeneron's Dupixent continues to grow two years post-launch, with the near totality of US dermatologists (n=100) reporting use of the brand and the majority prescribing the agent to more than five atopic dermatitis (AD) patients. Collaborating dermatologists indicate that the first biologic to treat moderate-to-severe AD has consistently exceeded expectations and current users continue to report high satisfaction with the IL-4/13 inhibitor.
In addition to gaining the asthma indication in 2018, Dupixent is now approved to treat moderate-to-severe AD patients aged 12 to 17, which is deemed to be beneficial for the brand. Since the previous quarters, dermatologists are now significantly more comfortable prescribing Dupixent to adolescents and, in the month between the label expansion and fielding of Spherix's study, respondents report initiating an average of two adolescent patients on Dupixent, a figure that is expected to significantly increase over time.
The overwhelming success of Dupixent can largely be attributed to the agent's clear advantages over less efficacious topicals. Respondents report Dupixent's greatest advantage as the brand's efficacy and state that Dupixent is successful in reducing the number of flares their AD patients experience. However, dermatologists also outline some pitfalls and note the agent is not a cure-all. Specifically, current Dupixent users report that the percent of patients that have experienced a disease breakthrough while on Dupixent is not negligible, and in fact, has been slowly increasing over time. When Dupixent patients do flare on treatment, respondents report that the flare tends to last an average of three weeks, warranting the use of topical corticosteroids to regain disease control. As one dermatologist states, "[My patient's] face and hands began flaring with new lesions and itch, and they began requesting steroids."
Dupixent's first-to-market status and two-year (and counting) run as the only biologic on the AD market should be credited as contributing factors to the agent's booming success. Indeed, if another targeted or biologic therapy became available, respondents would be willing to switch a considerable number of their current Dupixent patients, likely a result of assuming higher efficacy and comparable safety in a new market entrant. Additionally, insurance and access have consistently been cited as barriers to use; In the words of one respondent, "I am so angry about how difficult it [Dupixent] is to get that I will switch patients to something else the moment the competition comes along."
Respondents also report that nearly one-third of current Dupixent patients would benefit from an amended weekly dosing schedule, implying that these patients may not be optimally managed on Dupixent's currently approved bi-weekly dose. The willingness to adjust Dupixent's dosing suggests that dermatologists see a need for alternative options and are comfortable with tailoring treatment regimens to a patient's ever-changing needs.
With Dupixent being the only FDA approved biologic in AD, dermatologists express a high unmet need and large untapped candidacy pool. In looking to psoriasis as a proxy for the potential of the AD market, dermatologists report that nearly 60% of their severe psoriasis patients are currently being treated with biologics, compared to only one-quarter of severe AD patients. Despite the discrepancy between the two dermatology-treated markets, the majority of respondents report that the future of AD will likely mirror the current psoriasis market, suggesting ample room for pipeline assets to make a significant impact.
Regarding assets with near-term plans to enter the AD space, nearly two-thirds of dermatologists believe that an oral, small molecule agent would be preferred over a subcutaneously-administered biologic, assuming comparable efficacy. Dermatologists also report they would be more likely to prescribe an oral agent for flare management than a biologic. Thus, JAK inhibitors such as AbbVie's upadacitinib, Pfizer's abrocitinib, and Eli Lilly's baricitinib (Olumiant), amongst others, have the potential to disrupt the AD market with a new mechanism of action and sought-after administration. While JAKs will surely have their place in the AD armamentarium if approved, next generation IL-13 inhibitors, such as LEO pharma's tralokinumab and Dermira's lebrikizumab, also hold substantial promise among treating-dermatologists. Of note, nearly one-third of respondents indicate that an IL-13 inhibitor with monthly dosing would be a significant advantage over Dupixent. Furthermore, it does not appear that lacking an asthma indication will be detrimental to the IL-13 inhibitors in development for AD.
About RealTime Dynamix™ TheRealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis (US)report series provides a detailed and timely look at current and future trends in the AD market, and the effects of the future shifting landscape. The quarterly releases allow for close monitoring and trending of key performance metrics. In addition to the fixed trended measures, the report also includes variable content addressing key current issues updated quarterly. The rapid field-to-insight turnaround time, highly relevant content, and unparalleled knowledge of the dermatology market make this an essential tool for companies competing in the space, as well as those with near-term plans to enter it.
About Spherix Global Insights Spherix Global Insights is an independent business intelligence and market research company, specializing in renal, autoimmune, neurologic and rare disease markets. Our aim is to apply our commercial experience and unique relationships within core specialty markets to translate data into insight, enabling our clients to make smarter business decisions.
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