While dermatologists satisfaction with Dupixent is exceptionally high and nearly all consider it an advance over other treatment options, Q1 2018 marks the first quarter with no significant gains in the user base or average number of patients being treated, according to the latest quarterly update from Spherix Global Insights
EXTON, Pa., Feb. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The most recent quarterly update of RealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis based on 102 dermatologists surveyed in mid-January reveals that use of both Pfizer’s Eucrisa and Sanofi-Regeneron’s Dupixent may be reaching a plateau moving into 2018.
About 90% of the dermatologists report use of Pfizer’s topical PDE4 inhibitor, Eucrisa, with the pediatric market largely driving growth for the brand. Indeed, the average number of patients in both children (2 to 11) and adolescent (12 to 17) age groups are continuously on the rise, while use in adults, where there are more treatment options available, dipped in Q1 for the first time, cancelling out any significant patient gains. Furthermore, when asked about the ideal Eucrisa patient, over one-quarter of dermatologists cited that “children” were the best candidates for treatment. Targeting this population is likely a key initiative for Pfizer as Eucrisa’s current direct to consumer (DTC) campaign has a specific focus on children and adolescents. However, dermatologists are divided with regard to the impact Eucrisa’s marketing has on their AD patients and their use of the drug, and fewer than half of the dermatologists report receiving any patient requests for the brand. Although market access continues to be noted as the leading barrier to increased Eucrisa use, the percentage of dermatologists reporting these barriers has decreased, potentially implying that the reimbursement landscape is improving.
Dupixent faces similar challenges with regard to access and cost, though unlike Eucrisa, there hasn’t been any sign of relief. In referring to Dupixent’s cost, one dermatologist noted, “I see wealthy patients with good insurance, never have I seen a drug I wish to prescribe that I can’t get covered. Fix [this issue] and [Dupixent] should fly off shelves.”
When asked about advice for Sanofi-Regeneron on Dupixent, several dermatologists noted that increasing branded marketing efforts would provide additional opportunities for growth. Though the manufacturers recently released an unbranded commercial, “Eczema Exposed,” only 14% of respondents noted that they have had any patients inquire about eczema, atopic dermatitis, or Dupixent as a result. Furthermore, the percent of dermatologists receiving requests for Dupixent has not increased over the past three quarters. Among dermatologists familiar with the campaign, feedback for the unbranded commercial is largely positive.
Dupixent representative contact trails that of companies with biologics for psoriasis such as AbbVie (Humira) and Novartis (Cosentyx). Leading biologic manufacturers and dermatology giants like Galderma are generally considered the strongest industry partners, while Sanofi-Regeneron has yet to establish itself as a leader in this field.
Though Dupixent has undoubtedly filled an unmet need, dermatologists are still wanting more options in atopic dermatitis. When asked about the top attributes they would like to see in a new agent, safety-conscious dermatologists first cite lack of serious adverse events, followed by efficacy in reducing the affected body surface area. Additionally, they desire an agent with an indication for patients under the age of 18, which could be a big growth driver for Dupixent in the future, as clinical trials in this population are already underway. However, with the high unmet need, this leaves ample room for challengers such as LEO Pharma’s tralokizumab, Galderma’s nemolizumab, and AbbVie’s upadacitinib, all of which are currently advancing in the pipeline for AD.
RealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis is an independent report series published on a quarterly basis. The series tracks the evolution of the atopic dermatitis market, provides a deep dive on launch effectiveness, and highlights opportunities for pipeline agents.
About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is an independent business intelligence and market research agency, 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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