Spherix Global Insights

February 17, 2023

Declining MS Sales for Historic Powerhouse Biogen Point to Shifting Tides in the Multiple Sclerosis Market According to Spherix Global Insights

U.S. neurologists increasingly favor Novartis’ MS portfolio, particularly Kesimpta

Exton, PA., February 17, 2023 – According to Biogen’s earnings call on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, sales for its multiple sclerosis (MS) franchise are down for the third year in a row. The company attributed the 2022 decline to generic erosion, pricing pressures, and a shift in prescribing patterns. As part of its’ quarterly market tracking RealTime Dynamix™ service, Spherix Global Insights probed U.S. neurologists on satisfaction with Biogen’s and Novartis’ MS DMTs, as well as perceptions of both companies’ MS portfolios.

Results reveal that satisfaction is highest with these companies’ high-efficacy biologics – Tysabri (natalizumab) from Biogen and Kesimpta (ofatumumab) from Novartis – although both trail the satisfaction level observed with Genentech’s market-leading Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). Interestingly, as Novartis’ MS portfolio has expanded to include additional treatment options, including Mayzent (siponimod) and most notably Kesimpta, neurologists’ portfolio preference has strayed from allegiance to Biogen and toward Novartis, likely as more neurologists move to embrace an earlier and more aggressive treatment approach.

TG Therapeutics’ anti-CD20 mAb Briumvi (ublituximab) joins the market as the newest high-efficacy option after receiving the FDA greenlight in December and recently debuting in the U.S. Prior to the launch, U.S. neurologists projected fast uptake of the asset and its prescriber base could equal that of Kesimpta six months after launch. Nevertheless, with neurologists considering Briumvi and Ocrevus to be largely comparable across attributes, TG Therapeutics will need to demonstrate a compelling value proposition to drive use.

Even with the plethora of current DMTs available, the MS pipeline remains robust, with multiple new therapies expected to launch in the coming years, bringing further shifts to the treatment paradigm. Established MS players EMD Serono, Genentech, Sanofi, and Novartis all have late-phase BTK inhibitors – a mechanism of action already of high interest to neurologists – and the Phase 3 trial of a subcutaneous version of blockbuster Ocrevus will wrap in September; the therapy could join Kesimpta as another subcutaneously administered anti-CD20 agent.

Additionally, outside of branded DMTs, the MS market could see its first-ever biosimilar, with the expected launch of Sandoz/Polpharma Biologics’ biosimilar natalizumab. Early data captured by Spherix indicates that neurologists already feel comfortable prescribing the biosimilar option to their MS patients, suggesting that sales of blockbuster Tysabri could be rapidly eroded, further threatening Biogen’s MS franchise.

Since 2016, Spherix Global Insights has tracked the MS market and will continue coverage of this highly dynamic space. Uptake and impact of Briumvi will be closely monitored via the Launch Dynamix™ service, while RealTime Dynamix™ covers overall in-line use, perceptions, pipeline awareness and intent, and perceptions of generic/biosimilar entrants. The dynamic new start and switching patient segments will be explored via RealWorld Dynamix™ services, including drivers of brand choice, treatment by MS subtype and severity levels, and potential next switches.

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 Launch Dynamix™

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

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 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:

Emma McFadden, Senior Insights Director, Neurology
[email protected]

Scott Upham, Corporate Communications
[email protected]


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