Analysts expect Gilenya to storm MS market

Doctors are ready to leap on the Gilenya bandwagon. According to a new report from Leerink Swann & Co., the new multiple sclerosis treatment from Novartis could grab 13 percent of that market over the next 12 months. By the time Gilenya has been on the market for two years, it could have a market share of 19 percent, Leerink analysts say in a note to clients.

The investment firm surveyed 43 physicians to come up with those estimates--great news for Novartis and Gilenya, the first MS treatment in pill form in the U.S. Almost all of the doctors surveyed said they plan to prescribe the new drug, Leerink found. "Respondents expect Gilenya to become one of the leading MS therapies within the next two years," the investor note states.

The estimates aren't such great news for competitors, however, which stand to lose up to 30 percent of their market share as Gilenya steals patients from rival treatments and captures newly diagnosed patients. As Bloomberg reports, among the drugs threatened by Gilenya are Biogen Idec's Avonex, Bayer's Betaseron, Teva Phamaceutical Industries' Copaxone and Merck KGaA's Rebif.

- read the Bloomberg story