Although the Majority of Surveyed European Gastroenterologists Prefer Remicade as the First-Line Biologic for Crohn's Dise

Increased Monitoring and Cost-Containment Measures in Europe Will Likely Impact Premium-Priced Emerging Biologics for Both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that although Centocor Ortho Biotech/Merck/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s Remicade is currently the preferred first-line biologic for Crohn’s disease (CD) of most surveyed European gastroenterologists’, first-line use of Abbott/Eisai’s Humira is expected to increase by the end of 2012. Greater familiarity with Remicade is the reason most often cited for by gastroenterologists in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) as their preference for this agent as the first-line biologic for CD, while—in most EU5 countries—more convenient delivery is cited as the main driver of gastroenterologists’ choice of Humira as the first-line biologic for the indication.

The new European Physician & Payer Forum report entitled The Expanding Biologics Landscape for CD and UC in Europe: Clinician and Payer Perspective on the Role of Premium-Priced Biologics in Treatment finds that Remicade will remain the preferred biologic for CD through the end of 2012. However, surveyed physicians in the EU5 anticipate that a slightly larger share of their biologics-treated CD patients will, at the expense of Remicade, receive Humira or other biologics by the end of 2012. Decision Resources surveyed EU5 gastroenterologists on three drugs in development for CD—Millennium’s cell adhesion molecule (CAM) inhibitor vedolizumab, Centocor Ortho Biotech/Janssen-Cilag’s interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23 inhibitor Stelara, and ChemoCentryx/GlaxoSmithKline’s CCR9 chemokine receptor antagonist Traficet-EN (CCX-282B).

While surveyed physicians indicated that an emerging agent’s efficacy and safety profiles are the most valuable attributes, they also highlighted the value of vedolizumab and Traficet-EN’s novel mechanisms of action and Stelara’s available postmarketing data from the drug’s use in other immunological conditions.

The report also finds that although Remicade will remain the predominant biologic for ulcerative colitis (UC) in Europe through the end of 2012, surveyed physicians anticipate that a larger share of their biologics-treated UC patients will receive Humira or other biologics by the end of 2012 (compared to current levels of use) at the expense of Remicade, even if Humira does not receive approval for UC in 2012.

“For Remicade, although current physician-estimated patient shares among biologics-treated UC patients are as high as 82 to 89 percent in the EU5, Remicade’s physician-estimated patient shares are expected to drop in all surveyed countries to 66 to 75 percent by the end of 2012,” said Decision Resources Analyst Bingnan Kang, Ph.D. “Surveyed gastroenterologists in the EU5 estimated that Humira’s patient shares in biologics-treated UC patients range from 10 to 12 percent currently and will nearly double in all EU5 countries, climbing to 19 percent in Germany and to 24 percent in France and the United Kingdom at the end of 2012. Additionally, 40 to 53 percent of surveyed gastroenterologists in the EU5 have prescribed Humira off-label for UC.”

The findings also reveal that most interviewed payers in the EU5 expect the pricing and reimbursement environment in Europe to become more stringent in the next few years. Increased monitoring and cost-containment measures, as well as potential risk-sharing or cost-sharing schemes, will likely impact premium-priced emerging CD and UC biologics.

“As a result, drug developers who bring novel biologics to the CD and UC markets will need to demonstrate superior clinical profiles (efficacy and safety) or greater cost-effectiveness than existing therapies if their drugs are to achieve a place in the treatment algorithm,” Dr. Kang said.

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