Spherix Global Insights

September 16, 2021

Aduhelm Launch Trends Show Some Early Signs of Progress as the Biogen Team Aims to Moderate Near-Term Expectations

New research from Spherix’s Launch Dynamix™ service captures neurologists’ current perceptions and reported prescribing behavior for the first-to-market disease-modifying therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

EXTON, Pa., September 16, 2021/PRNewswire/ — The June 2021 approval of Biogen/Eisai’s Aduhelm fueled high initial expectations for the first-to-market disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Three months into the launch, Biogen claims that market access restrictions, clinical trial data relevance, and onboarding burden has toned down near-term expectations.

During the company’s presentation at the Morgan Stanley 19th Annual Global Healthcare Conference, CEO Michael Vounatsos noted, “…although we are facing some near-term challenges, and everybody can see that, we continue to see a very high level of physician and patient interest, and we continue to believe the mid- to long-term opportunity remains significant.”

In the third monthly pulse of Spherix’s Launch Dynamix™: Aduhelm (Biogen) in Alzheimer’s Disease (US) service, data collected from 74 neurologists surveyed between September 2nd and 7th showed signs of optimism, with small increases in prescriber base and the mean number of patient initiations compared to stagnant trends for both metrics over the first two months of availability. In addition, prescriber base is anticipated to continue to expand by almost 50% over the next month, supporting close to twice the number of new patient initiations compared to the volume of reported patients prescribed Aduhelm in August.

Looking further out, Spherix notes that nearly two-thirds of neurologists anticipate having at least some patients on Aduhelm by March 2022, with an estimated brand share substantially higher than that projected back in August. Despite the controversy surrounding the accelerated FDA approval pathway, one in seven patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are considered potential candidates for the new brand. As such, long-term success does not appear to be markedly limited by physician willingness to prescribe the DMT or clinical determination of patient eligibility.

So what of the three current barriers stressed by Biogen as key areas of focus for improving the Aduhelm launch performance? Spherix data confirm that the market access landscape is indeed recognized as restrictive by the majority of neurologists. Neurologists also tend to believe that they already have a high level of familiarity with Aduhelm. Publication of the EMERGE and ENGAGE clinical data in peer-reviewed journals should only improve brand performance on this key performance indictor (KPI), although the impact on the degree to which neurologists perceive Aduhelm to be an advance for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease will need to be watched.

The impact of limited infrastructure on onboarding potential Aduhelm candidates will be assessed in greater detail in the first quarterly report of the Launch Dynamix™: Aduhelm (Biogen) in Alzheimer’s Disease (US) service. Moving beyond the KPIs trended in the monthly pulses, this deep dive report relies on both quantitative data and qualitative insights to assess neurologists’ perceptions and current and anticipated prescribing patterns.

Assessed variables include, but are not limited to, Aduhelm drivers, referral patterns, healthcare system restrictions and other barriers to prescribing, recently prescribed patient characteristics, willingness to prescribe by patient type or market event (i.e., CMS National Coverage Decision finalization), experience with regional Medicare Administrative Contractors’ (MACs) processes and decisions, and Biogen company perceptions. Subscribed clients will have access to these insights on October 1st.

 About Launch Dynamix™
Launch Dynamix™ is an independent service providing a monthly benchmarking of newly launched products for the first eighteen months of commercial availability, augmented by a quarterly deep dive into patient types initiated, brand perceptions, promotional activity, and drivers and barriers to uptake.

Learn more about our services here.

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About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is a hyper-focused market intelligence firm that leverages our own independent data and expertise to provide strategic guidance, so biopharma stakeholders make decisions with confidence. We specialize in select immunology, nephrology, and neurology markets.

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