New Study By BioTrends Highlights the Risk of TNF-alpha Inhibitors of Losing Patient Share To Alternative Mechanism Agents in th

EXTON, Pa., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends is pleased to announce the publication of a new syndicated report, TreatmentTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis.  This report covers the use of biologics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  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.

According to the surveyed respondents (106 rheumatologists), although TNF-alpha inhibitors will continue to dominate the market, the TNF-alpha inhibitors drug class is at risk of losing patient market share to biologics with alternative mechanisms of action such as Actemra, Orencia and Rituxan.  Remicade, in particular, is susceptible to losing additional future patient market share to Orencia and Actemra among certain segments of rheumatologists.  However, a significant unmet need still exists for an efficacious and fast-acting therapy for TNF-refractory patients.  Indeed, the perceptual gap between TNF-alpha inhibitors and Non-TNF-alpha inhibitors with alternative mechanisms of action is currently very wide, based on important attributes which directly influence physician behavior.  

During the second quarter of 2009, two new TNF-alpha inhibitors (Simponi and Cimzia) were launched almost simultaneously.  Simponi has outperformed Cimzia on several performance metrics with respect to perceptions about product performance, physician trial and usage and aggressiveness of initiation in the RA treatment continuum.  Physician receptivity to the recent launch of Actemra, a TNF-alpha inhibitor alternative with an entirely novel mechanism of action (interleukin-6 inhibition), indicates this agent has the potential to fill a significant unmet need among TNF-refractory patients and, in doing so, could potentially alter the current RA treatment paradigm.  

The most established injectable TNF-alpha inhibitors (Enbrel and Humira) both significantly outperform other biologics on key efficacy and safety parameters.  Although both Enbrel and Humira are at relative parity on efficacy and safety, Enbrel has a competitive advantage over Humira on important attributes that are physician-related in contrast to Humira which holds advantages on patient-related attributes. Regardless, these leading brands are expected to face competition from both the newer, longer-acting TNF-alpha inhibitors as well as alternative mechanism agents in the near future.

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