Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that growth opportunities for Roche/Chugai's Actemra (marketed as RoActemra in Europe) will propel Roche to sixth position in the rheumatoid arthritis market by 2012. Driving factors include Actemra's early market entry into Japan, making it the only agent available for the treatment of inadequate responders to TNF-alpha in Japan until the arrival of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia in 2012, and the likelihood that the drug will be used in relatively early lines of biologic therapy.
Currently, physicians rely heavily on TNF-alpha inhibitors in early lines of biological therapy, and reserve agents with other mechanisms of action, such as Orencia and Biogen Idec/Genentech's Rituxan (also marketed by Chugai and Zenyaku Kogyo in Japan, and marketed as MabThera in Europe by Roche), largely for TNF-alpha inadequate responders. According to the new report entitled Brands & Strategies: Rheumatoid Arthritis, physicians indicate that Actemra's efficacy data is compelling enough to consider using it earlier in therapy; particularly once it has been on the market long enough to gather some post-marketing data to provide reassurance about side effects such as elevated lipid levels and elevated liver enzymes.
"Despite a recent regulatory setback in the U.S., physicians are cautiously optimistic about the efficacy of Actemra," said Dancella Fernandes, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Decision Resources anticipates the drug's uptake as a treatment for inadequate responders to TNF-alpha will garner Actemra sales of $603 million in 2012."
The report also finds despite significant increases in promotional spend coinciding with the launch of Orencia and Rituxan, these relatively new entrants are struggling to secure significant market share in the mature rheumatoid arthritis market. Promotional spending doubled and increased tenfold (for Orencia and Rituxan, respectively) in 2006 compared with 2005. While Rituxan's spend remained similar in 2007 compared to 2006, Orencia's spend increased fivefold in 2007. Despite these efforts, only one percent of surveyed rheumatologists reported that Orencia or Rituxan was the first brand that came to mind when thinking of rheumatoid arthritis treatments.
About Brands & Strategies
The Brands & Strategies report series from Decision Resources reveals what it takes to be successful in a pharmaceutical market. It offers the most comprehensive commercial analysis of the brands and strategies of competing companies, insight from physicians and patients, and forecasted impact of future events. Brands & Strategies is the first and only report series to bring together all the competitive information elements pharma companies need to better position themselves in a market and plan future strategy based on what competitors are doing.
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