Cimzia Matches Simponi on Key Performance Metrics in the Treatment of RA and Actemra Uptake Continues, Despite Need for Lab Moni

EXTON, Pa., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends is pleased to announce the publication of a new syndicated report, TreatmentTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis 2Q 2010.  This report covers the use of biologics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The report, part of a quarterly series, focuses on current and future use of biologic agents, patient market share, perceived strengths and weaknesses of the key brands, barriers to broader usage, sales force performance and perceived value of manufacturers' patient assistance programs.

Biologic usage among surveyed respondents (100 rheumatologists) has increased over the last six months. This is due to earlier, more aggressive intervention with biologic agents and broader use of both the newer TNF-alpha inhibitors (UCB's Cimzia and Centocor Ortho Biotech's Simponi) as well as biologics with alternative mechanisms of action (Genentech/Roche's Actemra, Genentech/Biogen Idec's Rituxan, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia), at the expense of the established TNF-alpha inhibitors. The usage and patient share of Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel and Centocor Ortho Biotech's Remicade declined the most compared to the previous wave of research which was fielded in the first quarter of 2010.

During the second quarter of 2009, the two newest TNF-alpha inhibitors, Simponi and Cimzia, launched almost simultaneously. Whereas Simponi had outperformed Cimzia across multiple metrics (i.e., physician usage, patient share, and assistance programs) in the previous wave, Cimzia matched Simponi on all of these performance metrics in the current wave of research.  Physician uptake of Actemra, a TNF alternative with a new mechanism of action (interleukin-6 inhibition) which launched in the first quarter of 2010, continued to increase despite the need for additional lab monitoring of liver function, lipid profile, and neutrophil and platelet counts.

Although the established TNF-alpha inhibitors are largely undifferentiated on the most important efficacy parameters which drive physician prescribing behavior, Humira's (Abbott Labs) patient assistance program is rated the best among rheumatologists and is an important factor in positively influencing perceptions and usage of Humira among physicians. Additionally, Humira sales representatives are rated the best compared to all other biologic manufacturers.

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