Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that robust annual 17 percent growth in the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) market through 2012 will be driven primarily by expanding use of Genentech/Novartis Ophthalmics' Lucentis in Europe. However, off-label use of Genentech/Roche/Chugai's Avastin will take market share away from Lucentis from 2012 through 2017 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Age-Related Macular Degeneration finds that near-term opportunity in wet AMD exists in the development of therapies that offer efficacy at least similar to that of Lucentis, along with advantages in dosing. However, because retinal specialists administer Lucentis less frequently (as needed) than its approved monthly dosing --which is the dosing used in clinical trials -- emerging therapies face high barriers in providing convincing evidence for dosing improvements over Lucentis.
Additionally, although experts have considered Regeneron/Bayer's aflibercept the most promising emerging therapy for wet AMD, recent clinical data has cast doubt on the agent's ability to demonstrate significant efficacy and/or dosing improvements over Lucentis. As a result, aflibercept will garner about 10 percent patient share in AMD in 2017 but its sales will fall short of blockbuster status because of strong competition from Lucentis and Avastin.
According to the report, the successful launch of therapies for dry AMD, which accounts for up to 95 percent of all cases of the disease, would address a critical unmet need and would revolutionize both the marketplace and management of AMD. However, such an event is not expected to occur between now and 2017.
"Overall growth of the AMD market for prescription therapies is driven by agents for the wet form of the disease, in particular, vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors," said Decision Resources Analyst Irene Koulinska, M.D., Sc.D. "We estimate that sales of this drug class will grow at a rate of two percent annually between 2007 and 2017. This reflects, primarily, the patient share dynamics between the approved agent from this class, Lucentis, and its less expensive, off-label alternative, Avastin."
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