Critical Therapeutic Objectives Continue to go Unmet for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Even with the Assimilation of

EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Trial and share of Novartis’ Gilenya, the first oral disease-modifying agent (DMA) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), to grow suggesting increasing acceptance of Gilenya as part of the available armamentarium of DMAs. However, room exists for broader Gilenya education as almost one-half of Gilenya non-prescribers still do not know where or when they would use the DMA — presenting an obstacle to initial trial among these late adopters. And, even among prescribers, Gilenya tends to be reserved for second line use in patients who have efficacy or tolerability issues with other DMAs, an unenviable position also held by Biogen Idec’s Tysabri. For Tysabri, concern over liability issues associated with use of the product appears to be driving a strong agreement that the commercial availability of an anti-JC virus antibody assay would increase prescribing. For now, Teva’s Copaxone remains the market share leader within the DMA market, although it is no longer rated highest on product satisfaction or overall performance compared to the other DMAs. Copaxone and Biogen Idec’s Avonex are perceived as good choices for DMA-naïve patients with mild or moderately active disease, while Bayer’s Betaseron and Pfizer / EMD Serono’s Rebif are considered appropriate choices for DMA-naïve patients with more active disease.

Despite the availability of multiple DMAs, significant unmet needs remain. Reduction in disability progression, followed by improved efficacy and disease remission, continue to be considered the greatest unmet needs for DMAs in development. When asked about unmet needs not covered in the survey, neurologists clearly express a need for less expensive / more cost-effective DMAs. While interest is high for all seven DMAs in development profiled in this research, Biogen Idec’s BG-12 and Teva’s laquinimod are rated highest both on interest and on potential value brought to neurologists’ practice.

In the area of symptomatic management, three out of every four neurologists have initiated an MS patient on Acorda’s Ampyra after 18 months on the market, but less than one out five neurologists have tried Avanir’s Nuedexta in an MS patient seven-months post-launch stemming from major obstacles to Nuedexta trial including lack of appropriate patients and / or lack of product familiarity. When asked about products in development to treat spasticity associated with MS, significantly more neurologists perceive Otsuka’s Sativex and Impax’s IPX056 as potentially bringing the most value to their practice compared to XenoPort’s arbaclofen placarbil.

TreatmentTrends®: Multiple Sclerosis is a syndicated quarterly report series that provides a comprehensive view of the current and expected future management of multiple sclerosis (MS) based on primary research. The Q3 2011 wave was fielded with 99 neurologists in the U.S. in mid-August 2011. A parallel report covering the European market (EU5) is also available. These reports cover the use of disease-modifying agents 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.

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