BURLINGTON, Mass., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group (DRG) finds that, according to surveyed U.S. and European oncologists, improvement in efficacy endpoints are the most influential factors in prescribing decisions for previously treated EGFR wild-type/untested non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). DRG also finds that improved median overall survival and increased progression-free survival are the greatest unmet needs in this indication. Surveyed oncologists express enthusiasm for PD-1 monoclonal antibody inhibitors and anticipate that Bristol-Myers Squibb/Ono Pharmaceutical's nivolumab and Merck's pembrolizumab will demonstrate efficacy advantages over currently available therapies. Interviewed thought leaders also expressed enthusiasm for AstraZeneca's MEK inhibitor selumetinib in combination with docetaxel (generics) for the treatment of KRAS-mutant patients.
Other key findings from the DecisionBase report entitled Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (Previously Treated EGFR Wild-Type/Untested): Of the Several Exciting Agents in Late-Stage Development, Do Any Have the Potential to Dramatically Improve Survival?:
- Payer perception: Improvements in overall survival are identified as an area of highest unmet need by surveyed oncologists, and surveyed payers indicate that emerging therapies that offer significant benefit in overall survival are highly desirable and would be readily reimbursed.
- Clinical trial end points: Overall survival and progression-free survival have the most influence over surveyed U.S. and European oncologists' prescribing decisions for previously treated EGFR wild-type/untested NSCLC.
- Emerging therapies: The treatment of NSCLC patients continues to evolve and is driven by the development of novel agents and, increasingly, therapies with associated biomarkers that are predictive of response (such as pembrolizumab and selumetinib). Surveyed payers regard the availability of a predictive biomarker as one of the key factors for granting favorable formulary status to novel therapies.
- KRAS-mutant population: The need for more efficacious therapies to treat NSCLC patients who harbor KRAS mutations will be addressed to some extent by the approval of selumetinib. However, significant unmet need remains for this underserved patient population.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Kirsha Naicker, Ph.D., M.Sc.:
- "Although improvement in median overall survival is associated with increases in physician preference share and prescribing likelihood, there appears to be a pricing threshold at which efficacy benefits no longer justify price premiums over current therapies."
- "A therapy's toxicity profile is an important consideration for prescribing therapies for previously treated EGFR wild-type/untested NSCLC. Regardless, a therapy with a poor side effect profile that is highly efficacious and targets an area of high unmet need, such as selumetinib, is viewed favorably by physicians."
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