Even with Limited European Access, Gilenya Trial and Uptake Is Having a Significant Impact on the EU5 DMA Market Landscape

EXTON, Penn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- While neurologists in the EU5 countries (France, Germany, Italy, UK, and Spain) report being most satisfied with Tysabri, use of disease-modifying agents (DMAs) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) is spread primarily across the platform DMAs, including Biogen’s Avonex, Teva / Sanofi’s Copaxone, Bayer Schering’s Betaferon, and Merck Serono’s Rebif. As of the survey’s October fielding, only neurologists in Germany had full access to Novartis’ Gilenya, the first and only oral DMA, although approximately one-third of neurologists in the other EU5 countries reported some trial with Gilenya either through compassionate use programs or clinical trial involvement. Even with this limited Gilenya access, Gilenya’s impact on the market (and on specific DMAs) can be seen through comparisons back to current and anticipated prescribing data collected in October 2010 — with Betaferon often taking the greatest hit. Reflecting a desire to treat MS patients earlier and more aggressively, EU5 neurologists anticipate a small, but significant, increase in their prescribing of DMA therapy among their CIS patients (up to 29% from 24%) over the next six months.

The recently released TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis in the European Union report finds that 70% of EU5 neurologists report having access to the anti-JC virus antibody assay. While, on average, two-thirds of patients tested for the anti-JC virus antibody are on Tysabri at the time of testing, neurologists in the UK are more likely to report testing DMA-naïve patients compared to neurologists in other EU5 countries.

EU5 neurologists recall Biogen’s BG-12, Teva’s laquinimod, and Sanofi’s alemtuzumab as their top-of-mind DMAs in development and believe that these DMAs hold the greatest potential to add value to their clinical practice. Top-of-mind awareness for MS-related symptomatic products tends to be limited to Almirall / Bayer Schering’s Sativex and Biogen’s Fampyra. While access is still limited for these MS-related symptomatic products, Sativex and Fampyra trial is estimated to reach an estimated three-quarter of EU5 neurologists within the next six months.

TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis in the European Union is a syndicated annual report that provides a comprehensive view of the current and expected future management of MS based on primary research fielded in October with 229 neurologists in France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and Spain. These reports cover the use of DMAs for the treatment of MS, as well as attitudes and perceptions toward these products, advantages and disadvantages, ideal patient types, barriers to growth, and expected future use. In addition, respondents are queried about their awareness of and interest in DMAs and MS-related symptomatic products in development. A parallel report covering the U.S. market is published quarterly.

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BioTrends Research Group, LLC
Todd Samuelson, 781-993-2673
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Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
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