Surveyed U.S. Cardiologists Indicate That They Would Prescribe Cardiome/Merck’s Oral Vernakalant and Gilead/Menarini’s Ran

The Atrial Fibrillation Drug Market Will Undergo Significant Growth, Expanding from $1.3 Billion in 2010 to $8.9 Billion in 2020, According to Findings from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surveyed U.S. cardiologists indicate that they would prescribe Cardiome/Merck’s oral vernakalant and Gilead/Menarini’s ranolazine to 13 percent of their atrial fibrillation patients. Additionally, these agents are forecasted to capture a similar patient share of 10 percent in the U.S. by 2020.

“Several components of vernakalant’s mechanism of action could ensure that it yields strong atrial-selective effects, which would reduce the risk of adverse events arising from off-target effects on the ventricles and confer an important competitive advantage over currently available oral antiarrhythmics,” said Decision Resources Analyst Conor Walsh, Ph.D. “Additionally, we expect the uptake of ranolazine will be due to its strong safety profile and clinical data indicating its notable antiarrhythmic efficacy.”

Decision Resources’ analysis of the atrial fibrillation drug market also finds that, based on clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders, amiodarone (Sanofi-Aventis’s Cordarone, generics) has earned Decision Resources’ proprietary clinical gold-standard status for atrial fibrillation, owing to its strongest clinical profile among key marketed products that control normal sinus rhythm (NSR) in atrial fibrillation. Decision Resources does not expect any therapy in development to replace amiodarone as its proprietary clinical gold standard for atrial fibrillation. While some emerging therapies hold promise, they have efficacy, safety and tolerability, and/or delivery features that prevent them from displacing amiodarone.

Surveyed U.S. cardiologists and managed care organization pharmacy directors agree that the rate of mortality is one of the attributes that most influences their decisions regarding prescribing and formulary status determinations, respectively, in the control of NSR in atrial fibrillation. Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that current and emerging therapies have no advantage on this attribute over the market’s sales-leading agent, Sanofi’s Multaq. However, perceptions of Multaq’s safety have undoubtedly been affected by a series of concerns raised about the drug in 2011, as only 15 percent of surveyed cardiologists identified it as the safest and best tolerated therapy for atrial fibrillation.

The findings also reveal that the atrial fibrillation drug market will undergo a period of significant, sustained growth, expanding from $1.3 billion in 2010 to $8.9 billion in 2020. The launch and rapid uptake of new oral anticoagulants, atrial-selective antiarrhythmic drugs and the expanding prevalent patient population will be the key drivers of market growth. Additionally, stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation is undergoing a transformation and is the most active area of drug development. A wave of new oral anticoagulants, with clinical profiles superior to that of warfarin (Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Coumadin, Eisai’s Warfarin, generics), will capture 72 percent of the atrial fibrillation drug market by 2020. The leading anticoagulants will be Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer’s Eliquis (apixaban), Bayer/Janssen’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban), and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate).

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