Spherix Global Insights

February 09, 2023

Can BMS’ Zeposia Cement a Defensible Market Position in Ulcerative Colitis Ahead of Pfizer’s Potential Rival S1P treatment, etrasimod?

Zeposia is only capitalizing on a small portion of opportunity in the US ulcerative colitis market according to Spherix Global Insights

EXTON, Pa., February 9, 2023 – Analysis from Spherix Global Insights quarterly market tracker, RealTime Dynamix™: Ulcerative Colitis, reveals that at twenty (20) months after the FDA approved Zeposia for use in Ulcerative Colitis (UC), stated physician use of the therapy remains low. A retrospective analysis across Spherix services suggests the drug has yet to cement a clear position which physicians commonly view as appropriate for the management of their UC patients.

Zeposia is the only oral therapy indicated for the treatment of UC, which does not include a black box in its label. That distinction gives it an advantage over the JAK class of medications, including Pfizer’s Xeljanz (tofacitinib) and AbbVie’s more recently launched Rinvoq (upadacitinib).   It is an advantage that affords Zeposia the opportunity to be prescribed in a first-line position ahead of biologics following an inadequate response to conventional systemic agents.

Despite this edge, physicians report prescribing Zeposia most often as a second or later line therapy, with its greatest proportion in third-line. Furthermore, when reviewing new advanced therapy starts and switches, Spherix analysis reveals a smaller proportion of Zeposia starts (first-line) compared to switches (second- or later-line). Indeed, physicians are more often prescribing Zeposia later in their UC treatment algorithm, a finding that holds true of both stated prescribing patterns as well as in data gleaned from over 1,000 actual UC patients charts in Spherix’s RealWorld Dynamix™ service.

Contrast this with findings from Spherix’s Zeposia launch tracking service (Launch Dynamix™), where Zeposia, independent of the market, saw allocation across lines of therapy vary dramatically over the course of launch. Allocation of first-line use declined 60% from initial launch through January 2022, then rebounded, increasing 95% by October 2022. During the same period, physician prescribing of Zeposia in mild/moderate patients nearly doubled. Taken together, it is reasonable to assume physicians are still attempting to find the proper positioning of Zeposia among their UC patients, and perhaps lending to the notion that Zeposia may be a better fit for patients living with more moderate disease.

Expectations for the S1P class were also considered in the analysis. Of therapies under development, Pfizer’s etrasimod is cited as the third most preferred agent out of 18 potential phase 2 and 3 assets. Nearly 70% of physicians see etrasimod as playing a leading or definite role in future UC management. Both findings suggest a majority of physicians have a favorable opinion of the S1P mechanism.

Physician stated peak share for Zeposia leaves room for growth in excess of five times current share. However, analysis of future intent across the 18 months of tracking shows some indications of exuberance.

To close the launch tracking analysis, Spherix ran a Pulse survey testing physicians’ interest in prescribing Zeposia as a first-line agent ahead of biologics. One-third of physicians reported being highly likely or likely to do so. Of the two-thirds who indicated they are reluctant to do so currently, a variety of barriers were cited, most of which can be reasonably addressed, suggesting Zeposia has opportunity to cement a market position in the 10-12 months ahead of etrasimod’s potential market entry.

About RealTime Dynamix™

RealTime Dynamix™ is an independent service providing strategic guidance through quarterly or semiannual reports, which include market trending and a fresh infusion of event-driven and variable content with each wave. The reports provide an unbiased view of the competitive landscape within rapidly evolving specialty markets, fueled by robust HCP primary research and our in-house team of experts.

About RealWorld Dynamix™

RealWorld Dynamix™ is an independent, data-driven service unveiling real patient management patterns through rigorous analysis of large-scale patient chart audits. Insights reveal the “why” behind treatment decisions, include year over year trending to quantify key aspects of market evolution, and integrate specialists’ attitudinal & demographic data to highlight differences between stated and actual treatment patterns.

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.

About Spherix Global Insights

Spherix Global Insights is a leading provider of market research, business intelligence and advisory services to the global life sciences industry. The company’s unique service offerings are powered by deep therapeutic knowledge, the Spherix Network specialty physician panel, and commercially relevant analyses to enable strategic decision-making by our valued customers.

A trusted advisor and industry thought leader, Spherix Global Insights provides specialized market expertise in six (6) focused therapeutic areas including: dermatology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, rheumatology and ophthalmology.

To learn more about Spherix Global Insights, visit spherixglobalinsights.com or connect through LinkedIn and Twitter.

Spherix Global Insights Contacts:

Geoff Red, Gastroenterology Franchise Head
[email protected]

Scott Upham, Corporate Communications
[email protected]

NOTICE: All company, brand or product names in this press release are trademarks of their respective holders. The findings and opinions expressed within are based on Spherix Global Insight’s analysis and do not imply a relationship with or endorsement by any company, brand, or product aforementioned.