Acorda's Ampyra is Seen as a Welcomed Addition to Existing Disease-Modifying Agents for the Improvement of Walking Speed in Mult

EXTON, Pa., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends released the first wave of LaunchTrends®: New Products in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a three wave syndicated report series designed to track the uptake of Novartis's Extavia and Acorda's Ampyra. In the current wave of research, which measures success at the one month post launch mark for Ampyra and six months post launch mark for Extavia, BioTrends surveyed 82 neurologists and conducted qualitative interviews with a subset of 20 of the respondents in May 2010.

Nearly all surveyed neurologists are aware of Ampyra and, even with already high levels of familiarity, remain interested in learning more about the product. As the first FDA-approved product for the management of an MS symptom, neurologists see its uniqueness (e.g., indication, oral formulation, adjunctive use, etc) as the greatest advantage. While two-thirds of neurologists surveyed have prescribed Ampyra, product access has been a challenge due to managed care constraints and the centralized distribution process. Over the next six months, continued uptake of Ampyra will come from increased use among progressive MS patients, conversion of current non-users into users, and switching of patients currently treated with compounded 4-AP.

Compared to a baseline wave conducted in November 2009, neurologists are significantly less interested in Extavia. While most neurologists see Extavia as a "me-too" drug that was not needed on the market, the small amount of reported current use is mostly driven by managed care requirements or out-of-pocket cost concerns.  

Although neurologists report little excitement for Extavia, there is a high level of interest in Novartis' pending MS therapy, Gilenia (fingolimod, FTY-720). Gilenia, which may be the first oral disease modifying agent in MS, is perceived to offer the greatest value over other potential candidates, including EMD Serono's Mylinax or Genzyme's Campath.  

BioTrends will continue to track the uptake of Ampyra and Extavia in the final two waves of this report series which will be published in September and November.  MS market dynamics will also be measured in upcoming syndicated reports including TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis, a report that covers both the US and EU markets, ChartTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis, and Special Report: Optic Neuritis

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