At one month post-launch, one in five surveyed nephrologists has started to use Veltassa in clinical practice, according to Spherix Global Insights, GmbH

February 11, 2016 – Zug, Switzerland  A recent survey conducted by Spherix Global Insights with 101 US nephrologists in late January 2016, shows promising activity for Veltassa, the first treatment for hyperkalemia to be approved in over 50 years.

Prior to launch, but following the October approval, unaided awareness of Veltassa was high which likely paved the way for early trial.  In addition to the 20% of surveyed nephrologists who already have prescribed Veltassa to at least one patient, 17% report that they intend to start prescribing “right away”.  Nephrologists report a high unmet need with a large pool of patients who would be considered candidates for Veltassa.

One of the greatest barriers to Veltassa use noted in the study is the boxed warning calling for a six-hour dose separation with other medications due to potential drug-drug interactions.  24% of those surveyed indicated that this would have a significant impact on their use.  However, since the fielding, Relypsa provided updated information on the drug-drug interactions, suggesting that a shorter dose separation window may be possible.  A follow up survey in February will highlight the impact this update has had on diminishing this barrier.

A rapid uptake is critical for Veltassa which faces competition from AstraZeneca’s ZS-9 (zirconium silicate), another novel potassium binder with a PDUFA date in May.  Awareness of ZS-9 is also high and although most nephrologists feel that it is too early to point to one agent as more advantageous, a small subset views ZS-9 as the superior product.

About Spherix Global Insights

Spherix Global Insights is a newly established business intelligence and market research company headquartered in Zug, Switzerland with US offices in Cambridge, MA. We specialize 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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