BURLINGTON, Mass., July 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed U.S. and European retinal specialists identify less frequent dosing as the highest unmet need in diabetic macular edema (DME), due to the burden on both patients and providers associated with monthly or semi-monthly anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections, which are the current standard of care. The mid-stage compound, Allergan/Molecular Partners' abicipar pegol, which is in development for dosing every two to three months, could help lessen dosing frequency and U.S. retinal specialists anticipate prescribing the product to a median 20 percent of their diagnosed DME patients. Respondents also ascribe moderate to high unmet need for DME therapies which have a greater effect on improving visual acuity than current DME treatments (anti-VEGF agents and the long-acting corticosteroid implants, Allergan's Ozurdex and Alimera Sciences' Iluvien). In line with this finding, surveyed U.S. retinal specialists expect to prescribe Ohr Pharmaceutical's squalamine and Aerpio Therapeutics' AKB-9778, Phase II therapies in development for adjunctive use alongside anti-VEGF therapies, to 20 and 18 percent of their DME patients, respectively, in order to improve visual acuity beyond the level currently obtainable with anti-VEGF monotherapy.

Other key findings from the DecisionBase report entitled How Will the Complex Interplay Between Efficacy, Safety, and Delivery Impact Retinal Specialists' Preferences and Payer Acceptance of Current and Emerging Therapies?

  • Perceptions of Eylea for DME: The anti-VEGF agent, Eylea (Regeneron/Bayer HealthCare/Santen), achieves the position of current clinical gold standard in Decision Resource Group's proprietary drug comparator model, owing to retinal specialists' perception of its superior efficacy and less frequent maintenance dosing for DME compared with the only other approved anti-VEGF for DME, Lucentis (Roche/Genentech/Novartis).
  • Formulary inclusion and reimbursement: Surveyed U.S. managed care organization pharmacy directors are receptive to reimbursing novel DME therapies which offer improvements over current therapies on visual acuity, dosing frequency, or delivery profile, even indicating that they would accept a price premium over current branded DME therapies for therapies offering benefits on these attributes.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Dr. Kathleen Davenport, Ph.D.:

  • "Interviewed experts highlight their desire for DME therapies which are patient administered, such as Ohr Pharmaceutical's squalamine eye drops and the emerging oral therapies, low-dose danazol (Optina; Ampio Pharmaceuticals) and Pfizer's PF-04634817.  In agreement with this qualitative feedback, Decision Resources Group's adaptive choice-based conjoint analysis for DME indicates a high prescribing likelihood among U.S. retinal specialists for target product profiles that are formulated as either an oral pill or an eye drop."
  • "Surveyed retinal specialists and U.S. payers appear receptive to DME therapies that improve visual acuity when used adjunctively to a current anti-VEGF agent.  While the majority of surveyed payers would reimburse an adjunctive therapy to be used in combination with an anti-VEGF drug, these respondents indicated that they would reimburse adjunctive therapies for DME at a lower price point than that of current anti-VEGF monotherapies, and that they expect to implement cost-control measures for adjunctive treatments."

For more information on purchasing this report, please email questions@dresourcesgroup.com.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value data, analytics and insights products and services to the healthcare industry, delivered by more than 700 employees across 15 global locations. DRG companies provide the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, financial services and payer industries with the tools, insights and advice they need to compete and thrive in an increasingly complex and value-based marketplace. www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com.

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SOURCE Decision Resources Group

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