Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the ankylosing spondylitis drug market will reach $661 million in 2016. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. More than one million people in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom suffer from the disease.

The new report entitled Market Opportunities in Ankylosing Spondylitis finds that, although nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the first-line treatment for ankylosing spondylitis, biologic TNF-alpha inhibitors (Amgen/Wyeth/Takeda's Enbrel, Centocor/Schering-Plough/Mitsubishi Tanabe's Remicade and Abbott/Eisai's Humira) are the leaders in this market, with their combined sales accounting for 97 percent of overall sales of agents to treat ankylosing spondylitis. Currently, approximately 40 percent of U.S. patients and 15-20 percent of European patients receive TNF-alpha inhibitor therapy. Thought leaders state that the percentage of patients who could benefit from this type of therapy is much higher, but the market is constrained by the high cost of these agents.

There is a significant opportunity for an agent that can match or surpass the efficacy of the TNF-alpha inhibitors but is available at a lower cost. Centocor/Schering-Plough/Mitsubishi Tanabe/Janssen's golimumab will be the fourth TNF-alpha agent approved for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, and despite the high level of competition, golimumab will experience strong uptake in the market.

"Golimumab will experience strong adoption based on physicians' enthusiasm for a less frequent, self-administered agent and the anticipated lower price of golimumab," said Jennifer Moniz Carpenter, analyst at Decision Resources. "We anticipate that golimumab will claim market share primarily from Remicade and Enbrel and that the three self-administered agents (Humira, Enbrel and golimumab) will compete relatively equally in the market."

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SOURCE: Decision Resources

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