Greater Effect on Disability Remains the Top Opportunity in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, An Opportunity Genzyme/Sanofi/Bayer HealthCare’s Lemtrada May Partially Fulfill

March 24, 2014

Surveyed U.S. Payers Also Seek Improvements from New Agents in Effect on Disability, According to Findings from Decision Resources Group

BURLINGTON, Mass., March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Decision Resources Group finds that new disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) with improved efficacy in slowing disability progression present the greatest opportunity for drug developers in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS). This finding is based on the relatively high level of unmet need for such advances and the high importance of effect on disability progression to prescribing choice ascribed unanimously by surveyed U.S. and European neurologists. Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that Genzyme/Sanofi/Bayer HealthCare’s Lemtrada is one therapy that has potential to address the unmet need in this area.


Other key findings from the DecisionBase report entitled Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: How Will the Complex Interplay Between Benefit, Risk, and Cost Impact Prescriber Preferences, and Payer Acceptance of, Future Disease-Modifying Therapies?:

    --  In addition to a drug's effect on disability and annualized relapse rate
        (ARR), surveyed U.S. neurologists and European neurologists weighted the
        risk of serious and/or life-threatening side effects as one of the most
        significant drivers of treatment choice in RR-MS.
    --  Nearly half of surveyed managed care organization (MCO) pharmacy
        directors exhibit a high willingness to reimburse new DMTs that have a
        greater effect on disability; however, for a hypothetical drug that
        reduces the risk of three-month sustained disability progression better
        than Biogen Idec's Tecfidera, over half of payers seek at least a 25
        percent improvement to grant formulary coverage.
    --  In clinical trials, Teva/Active Biotech's emerging oral DMT Nerventra
        and Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma's first-to-market oral DMT
        Gilenya/Imusera reduced brain atrophy by approximately one-third versus
        placebo. However, based on the results of a conjoint analysis, greater
        reductions in brain atrophy alone may not render a future DMT
        considerably more attractive to U.S. neurologists.
    --  Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate
        that Lemtrada, Biogen Idec/AbbVie's daclizumab, and Roche/Genentech's
        ocrelizumab offer improvements in ARR over first-line injectable
        mainstays (e.g., Teva's Copaxone). Surveyed U.S. neurologists indicate
        they would prescribe these agents to approximately one in ten eligible
        RR-MS patients.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Alana Simorellis, Ph.D.:

    --  "New drugs that offer an improved effect on disability progression
        represent one of the greatest unmet needs in the treatment of RR-MS.
        Experts perceive Biogen Idec's Tysabri and Lemtrada to offer
        improvements in reducing disability progression compared with first-line
        agents. In light of safety concerns, however, substantial opportunity
        awaits additional potent disease-modifying alternatives that can be more
        broadly prescribed."
    --  "With a rapidly growing DMT armamentarium that now features several oral
        products and increasingly effective options, our physician and payer
        research suggests that clinical differentiation and improved therapeutic
        value are ever more critical, and more challenging, to achieve."

About Decision Resources Group

Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on critical issues within the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Find out more at www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com.

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For more information, contact:

Decision Resources Group

Christopher Comfort



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