First-in-Class PPMS Indication Fueling Much of the Adoption of Genentech’s Ocrevus, but Insurance Coverage Issues Could be a Looming Stumbling Block

As previously predicted, Ocrevus trial and share has increased significantly, positioning the new market entrant as second only to Biogen’s Tysabri in the mAb DMT class, according to the most recent quarterly update by Spherix Global Insights

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EXTON, Pa., Sept. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Four months post-launch, keeping pace with neurologists’ previous projections, Genentech’s Ocrevus continues to display impressive growth in both user base and brand share. Although only 42% of surveyed neurologists consider themselves to be early adopters of new disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), 67% of neurologists have trialed Ocrevus, up significantly from 45% from the previous fielding.

The broad user base has pushed Ocrevus share up significantly, second now only to Tysabri among the mAb DMTs. Unique to Ocrevus with its first-in-class primary progressive MS (PPMS) label, almost two-thirds of PPMS patients are considered appropriate candidates for Ocrevus ─ drastically higher than that of RRMS patients. While Ocrevus is well positioned for PPMS, only 27% of neurologists are comfortable with Ocrevus as a first-line DMT for RRMS and few Ocrevus-treated RRMS patients have been started first line on the brand. For now, Ocrevus appears to be positioned as a later-line option in the crowded RRMS market providing breathing room for preferred RRMS options, like Teva’s Copaxone, Biogen’s Tecfidera, and Novartis’ Gilenya.

Emerging barriers to Ocrevus uptake include insurance coverage issues, more frequently mentioned as a barrier by current users, and safety concerns, more often cited among non-users. In fact, among the few Ocrevus discontinuations to date, insurance coverage is the second most common reason for discontinuation (after patient request). According to Dr. Shiv Saidha, a recognized MS expert and advisor to Spherix Global Insights, “While the risk-benefit of Ocrevus needs to be weighed carefully and relative to other available therapies, additional hindering factors include insurance coverage issues, including stipulations within various insurance plans. With these stipulations, and the burden involved in appealing insurance denials, the process of starting an RRMS patient on Ocrevus can be cumbersome.”

RealTime Dynamix™: Multiple Sclerosis (US) is an independent report series published on a quarterly basis. The series provides a close-quarters analysis of key performance metrics, focusing on brand gains and losses, industry contact rates, familiarity and adoption rates of recently launched products and awareness of products in development. The next wave of research will be published in December 2017.

About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is an independent business intelligence and market research company, specializing in renal, autoimmune, neurologic and rare disease markets. Our aim is to apply our commercial experience and unique relationships within core specialty markets to translate data into insight, enabling our clients to make smarter business decisions.

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Virginia Schobel, Neurology Franchise Head

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