EU Rheumatoid Arthritis Landscape Poised for Big Changes as Rheumatologists Plan for the Adoption of Eli Lilly/Incyte’s Olumiant, Pfizer’s Xeljanz, and Regeneron/Sanofi’s Kevzara
With the recent approval of two new JAK inhibitors and the imminent introduction of additional IL-6 inhibitors, EU rheumatologists anticipate substantial practice shifts in RA management.
EXTON, Pa., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Spherix Global Insights recently released data collected from 257 rheumatologists in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, revealing a high unmet need for small molecules and alternate mechanism biologics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, if asked to choose between a new JAK inhibitor and a new IL-6 inhibitor, 74% would prefer the JAK. With the recent approvals of Olumiant (baricitinib) and Xeljanz (tofacitinib), they may just get what they want.
Though Xeljanz received FDA approval in November 2012, EU rheumatologists appear to favor the first JAK approved by the EMA, Olumiant. Virtually all of the respondents across the EU view Olumiant as an advance over biologics and all anticipate future use of the brand. Furthermore, when asked which JAK will bring more value to their practice, Olumiant was selected twice as frequently as Xeljanz. However, respondents also see a place for Xeljanz, with over half citing that they plan to use Pfizer’s JAK routinely.
The IL-6 inhibitors may have a harder time penetrating the RA EU market, where Roche’s RoActemra (tocilizumab) is the third most commonly prescribed biologic behind AbbVie’s Humira and Pfizer’s Enbrel with use far surpassing that of Actemra in the US. Though over one-quarter of the respondents believe the new IL-6 inhibitors will be completely interchangeable with RoActemra, they also note that the greatest barriers for displacing RoActemra are it’s length of time on the market, well understood safety profile, rheumatologist comfort in prescribing, and RoActemra’s strong supporting clinical data.
Further changes impacting the RA treatment paradigm across the EU include the continued acceptance and adoption of biosimilars. Indeed, 41% of rheumatologists noted that biosimilars have been the single most significant change with regard to RA management over the past year. Additionally, the biosimilar versions of Remicade now account for nearly 40% of all infliximab use and Biogen/Samsung’s Benepali accounts for 25% of all etanercept use.
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