Neurologists Anticipate Increased Use of Novartis’ Gilenya and Biogen Idec’s Tysabri over the Next Six Months Despite Safe

EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Physician trial and market share of Novartis’ Gilenya, the first oral disease modifying agent (DMA) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), have both increased significantly over the past quarter, according to a recent report by BioTrends. Despite uptake, neurologists report dissatisfaction with Novartis’ company support – an attribute that seems to have more impact on neurologists’ choice of DMA than they state. Use of Extavia, Novartis’s other DMA, has stabilized just over a year after launch with no anticipated changes in prescribing over the next six months. Gilenya share, on the other hand, is anticipated to increase substantially although safety concerns remain a primary obstacle for the newest DMA. The impact of Gilenya uptake is expected to be split across shares of Biogen Idec’s Avonex, Bayer’s Betaseron, Teva’s Copaxone and Pfizer/EMD Serono’s Rebif. While neurologists currently state an overall preference for Tysabri, long term safety concerns continue to hold them back from prescribing more of the brand — thus, the commercial availability of a JC antibody assay, which could help identify appropriate patients, is perceived as a possible game changer for Tysabri.

Neurologists continue to report a high unmet need for products with neuroprotective effects and significant impact on disability progression. Among the seven therapies in development that were profiled in the research, interest was highest for Teva’s laquinimod and Biogen Idec’s BG-12. Interestingly, much of the recent surge in interest in BG-12 is being driven by Gilenya early adopters.

One year post-launch, most neurologists have prescribed Acorda’s Ampyra (dalfampridine). With greater familiarity and usage, a clearer picture is emerging about the average discontinuation rate and where the product may have room for growth. On the other hand, trial, usage, and familiarity of Avanir’s Nuedexta, a recently launched agent for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect, remains limited following just weeks of commercial availability. While awareness of the four surveyed MS-related symptomatic products in development is low, neurologists report moderate levels of interest in the products and believe Otsuka’s Sativex, an agent for the treatment of spasticity, would provide the greatest clinical value to their practice.

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 Q1 2011 wave was fielded with 104 neurologists in the U.S. in mid-February 2011. A parallel report covering the European market (EU5) will be published later this year. 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 were queried about their awareness of and interest in MS-related DMA and symptomatic products in development.

About BioTrends Research Group, LLC

BioTrends Research Group, LLC ( provides syndicated market research to pharmaceutical manufacturers competing in clinically evolving, specialty pharmaceutical markets. For information on BioTrends’ publications and research capabilities, please contact us at (610) 363-3872 or BioTrends Research Group, LLC is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks of their respective holders.


BioTrends Research Group, LLC
Sharon Funk, 404-223-2963
[email protected]
Decision Resources, Inc.
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Pennsylvania

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Pharmaceutical