BioTrends is pleased to announce the publication of a new syndicated report, TreatmentTrends: Multiple Sclerosis. This report covers the use of disease-modifying agents (DMAs) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as attitudes and perceptions toward these products, advantages and disadvantages, ideal patient types, barriers to growth and expected future use. In addition, respondents were queried about their awareness of and interest in MS products in development.
The study, based on feedback gathered in an on-line survey completed by 100 neurologists in March 2010, found that among the disease modifying agents available, Biogen Idec's Tysabri had the highest percent of neurologists indicating a recent increase in use. However, fear of PML is noted as a leading obstacle to expanded use of the product by 80% of the respondents. Furthermore, patients on Tysabri are significantly more likely to be given a drug holiday compared to other brands and this is usually at the direction of the neurologist as opposed to patient request.
Neurologist uptake for Extavia, Novartis's recently launched interferon B-1b, has been reserved with only about one-third of the survey respondents reporting trial. As expected, the majority of neurologists surveyed view Extavia as interchangeable with Bayer's Betaseron. Contact rates for Extavia lagged the other DMA brands and the main message recalled by called-on neurologists was centered on cost/insurance coverage for Extavia. Extavia share is expected to increase significantly for patients with Relapsing Remitting MS in the next six months where Rebif is projected to decline for this patient group.
Another change in practice noted by neurologists is the trial and adoption of Acorda's Ampyra (dalfampridine), a newly approved agent for improvement of walking in patients with MS. At one month post launch, over one-third of the neurologists reported use of the product with more than half of the non-users anticipating trial in the next six months. Projected share estimated suggest that Ampyra could potentially be used in about one-third of neurologists' MS population. The uptake in Ampyra will be explored further in LaunchTrends: New Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis, a three wave report series which will be available beginning in May 2010.
Oral formulations, along with improved efficacy and reduced disability progression, were identified as the greatest needs for new MS agents. Among nine therapies in development that were profiled in the research, interest was rated highest for Novartis's Gilenia and EMD Serono's Movectro. More than one-quarter of the respondents indicated that Gilenia would likely be the product to offer the greatest value to their practice.
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