Will US Rheumatologists Follow in the Footsteps of Dermatologists for Adoption of Eli Lilly’s Taltz?

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A recent study of 100 surveyed US rheumatologists, reveals that after viewing a product profile for the likely second to market IL-17 inhibitor for PsA, 84% anticipate prescribing Lilly’s Taltz (ixekizumab), if approved. Furthermore, the vast majority of rheumatologists plan to initiate treatment within the first-year of launch.

Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) has been making steady gains in the PsA market, potentially creating an opportunity for Lilly to ride on the IL-17 coattails. Indeed, rheumatologists report significantly higher satisfaction with Cosentyx compared to Janssen’s Stelara with 46% stating the Cosentyx holds an efficacy advantage over Stelara. It remains to be seen whether Taltz, as the second entrant, will expand IL-17 use or whether it will dampen uptake of Cosentyx. Overall, the majority of surveyed rheumatologists expect decreased use of TNF inhibitors, particularly share-leader Humira from AbbVie, in favor of alternate mechanism agents in the near future.

The co-management and interplay for patients with PsA between rheumatologists and dermatologists creates a complicated patient journey. Roughly 30% of patients with psoriasis will develop PsA and among PsA patients referred to rheumatologists from dermatologists, almost half were previously treated with a biologic agent or Celgene’s Otezla (apremilast). According to an earlier report by Spherix which evaluated 982 PsA patients who recently switched biologic brands, in about one-third of the cases where a dermatologist referred a PsA patient who was previously treated with a biologic, the prescription was changed by the rheumatologist. However, rheumatologists view the psoriasis indication as an important component of their PsA treatment options, with the majority stating that they prefer to use agents with a dual indication when treating PsA. This preference may present a major barrier for Pfizer’s Xeljanz and Janssen’s Simponi Aria, two drugs seeking a PsA indication but lacking an indication for PsO.

Spherix will continue to track the trends in the PsA and PsO markets with on-going quarterly surveys of rheumatologists and dermatologists throughout 2017. In addition, two large-scale patient chart audits that will evaluate biologic use in PsA and PsO are planned for publication in the first quarter.

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About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is a 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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