EXTON, Penn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After one year on the market, share of Novartis’ Gilenya, the only oral disease-modifying agent (DMA) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), continues to increase, although not significantly, compared to six months ago. Most of the recent uptake appears to be the result of significant growth in the Gilenya prescriber base versus increased adoption by existing prescribers. In fact, at one year post-launch, while 79% of neurologists report having initiated a Gilenya trial (compared to 65 percent six months ago), these neurologists are only treating an average of 7 patients with Gilenya — down from 8 patients per neurologist at six months post-launch. While neurologists have thought of Gilenya as a second line or later DMA since launch and continue to perceive the product this way, there was initially a number of DMA-naïve, needle-phobic patients started on Gilenya solely because of its oral formulation. With this pool of needle-phobic patients shrinking, almost all recent Gilenya starts have been switches. While the DMAs with the highest market share (e.g. Teva’s Copaxone and Biogen Idec’s Avonex) tend to be impacted the most by switches to Gilenya, Biogen Idec’s Tysabri stands out as most at risk for cannibalization by Gilenya as many neurologists report choosing between these two products. The introduction of the anti-JC virus antibody assay seems to be providing a valuable tool for neurologists in identifying Tysabri- versus Gilenya-appropriate patients.
The recently released fourth wave of the LaunchTrends®: Gilenya report series finds that while neurologists do anticipate increasing their prescribing of Gilenya to 8 percent of their DMA-treated patients within the next six months, continued concerns related to the lack of post-marketing safety data and frustration over the monitoring requirements among both current prescribers and non-prescribers will need to be addressed to bolster near-term uptake. With few current non-prescribers anticipating initial trial over the next six months, future growth will instead need to come from existing prescribers feeling more comfortable with Gilenya’s safety and with the ease of initiating patients on Gilenya. While neurologists continue to see almost one-third of their DMA-treated patients as being possible candidates for Gilenya, the frequent mentions of Biogen Idec’s BG-12 as an exciting new oral DMA on the horizon suggests that BG-12 could pose a real competitive threat to Gilenya if launched.
LaunchTrends®: Gilenya is a four wave syndicated report series designed to track the uptake of Novartis’s Gilenya at one month, three months, six months, and one year following its commercial availability. In the current wave of research which measures Gilenya’s market impact at one year post-launch, BioTrends surveyed 101 neurologists and conducted qualitative interviews with a subset of 20 of the respondents in October 2011. BioTrends will continue to track the US uptake of Gilenya in the on-going TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis report series, which is published quarterly, and ChartTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis, an annual audit of 1000+ DMA-treated MS patients. Parallel reports covering the recent introduction of Gilenya in the European Union (EU5) are also available.
LaunchTrends assesses trial and use of new products, obstacles to use, reasons to use, typical patient types, line of therapy, product perceptions, promotional efforts/messages and product satisfaction.
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