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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recent Multiple Sclerosis Market Events Have Resulted in Treatment Modifications


EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While Biogen Idec’s Avonex and Teva’s Copaxone continue to capture the majority of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients first starting on a disease-modifying agent (DMA), the introduction of Novartis’ Gilenya, the only oral DMA currently on the market, appears to have impacted the average length of the time that patients remain on their first-line therapy before a switch may be initiated. Gilenya, typically prescribed as a second or later-line DMA, has also negatively impacted the overall market share of certain DMAs compared to the 2010 audit fielded prior to the Gilenya launch, with Pfizer / EMD Serono’s Rebif and Biogen Idec’s Avonex, taking the greatest hit.
In addition to the introduction of Gilenya, another recent event impacting the MS market is the commercial availability of the anti-JC virus antibody assay to help mitigate the PML risk associated with treatment of Biogen Idec’s Tysabri. Based upon the patient-level audit data, the percent of patients tested for anti-JC virus antibodies differs based both on brand of DMA at the time of testing and MS disease classification. While patients who test negative for the antibodies are most likely to switch to Tysabri, patients who test positive are most likely to switch to Gilenya.
The majority of DMA-treated patients experience at least some MS-related symptoms with the most common including fatigue, abnormal sensory perceptions, and balance issues. Since there are currently very few FDA-approved symptomatic agents, the agents most often prescribed to help control MS-related symptoms are typically products without a formal indication for MS. Acorda's Ampyra, the first FDA-approved symptomatic agent for a MS-related symptom, is used by neurologists to treat walking impairment, spasticity, and / or fatigue. A number of important differences exist between patients treated with Ampyra and those who are not, including the severity of the disease at DMA initiation and current disease classification.
When asked to hypothetically switch audit patients to one of the DMAs in late stage clinical development, neurologists identify the greatest opportunity for Biogen Idec’s PEG-Avonex and Teva’s laquinimod. A number of patient characteristics appear to help identify the types of patients who are perceived by neurologists as more likely to be switched to a specific DMA in development upon approval.

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Disclaimer:  'MS Views and News' (MSVN), does not endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.
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