Newer Anti-TNF Alpha Agents Simponi and Cimzia Appear To Be Making In-Roads Into First Line Biologic Position in Rheumatoid Arth

EXTON, Pa., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In its recently released annual 2010 update, ChartTrends®: Biologics in Rheumatoid Arthritis, BioTrends Research Group, Inc. finds that newer biologic agents such as UCB's Cimzia and Centocor OrthoBiotech's Simponi, although lagging in overall market share, have begun to penetrate the first line biologic position primarily at the expense of Pfizer/Amgen's Enbrel and Abbott's Humira.  In a comparison of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who were switched to a second line agent within the past two years, the study found that there was an increase in the percent of patients switching to an alternative mechanism compared to prior years where switching to a second TNF-alpha agent was more prevalent.

Significantly fewer patients were being treated with concomitant DMARDs and steroids compared to the prior year and the study found that more than half of the patients who were placed on steroids at diagnosis were subsequently discontinued.  Those that were not discontinued from steroids had marked reductions in the average daily dose prescribed.

Certain co-morbidities such as anemia, obesity and cancer history were significantly more prevalent with specific biologic brands.  While efficacy was a leading reason for choosing most biologic brands, Simponi, Cimzia and Humira were also commonly chosen for their convenient dosing regimens.  Simponi was associated with the highest percent of use related to patient request.

For products in late stage development, rheumatologists reported the highest degree of familiarity with Orencia's subcutaneous formulation but the highest interest in Pfizer's JAK-inhibitor, tasocitinib, with close to 40 percent of the audited patients being considered candidates for this new option when it becomes available.

ChartTrends®: Biologics in Rheumatoid Arthritis 2010 is a syndicated study based on 1,051 patients with RA who are currently being treated with biologic agents.  The records were submitted by 226 US rheumatologists for patients most recently seen in their offices.  Through an in-depth review of de-identified patient chart metrics, details such as product dosing and titration, switching, line of therapy, co-morbidities, concomitant medications and a host of laboratory and demographic variables help define patient types and identify therapy triggers.  Included with the report is a patient database for further datamining.

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