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Pfizer’s Xeljanz Barrels into Psoriatic Arthritis, Leaving Lilly’s Recently Launched Taltz in its Wake, According to a Recently Published Study from Spherix Global Insights

Janssen’s Simponi Aria and BMS’ Orencia seem to be settling into their respective niches, but neither brand is anticipated to bring much disruption to the PsA market

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EXTON, Pa., April 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The most recent quarterly results of a study conducted by Spherix Global Insights with 101 US rheumatologists reveals uptake of Pfizer’s Xeljanz for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has been much more rapid than that of Eli Lilly’s Taltz. Though launched within weeks of each other, over half of the surveyed rheumatologists have already prescribed Pfizer’s Xeljanz for the treatment of PsA, more than double the current users of Taltz. Furthermore, at approximately two months post-approval, Xeljanz had already captured 3% of the biologic/JAK PsA market, whereas Taltz only accounted for 1% of this population. While existing comfort and satisfaction with Xeljanz in rheumatoid arthritis is likely aiding swift PsA adoption, the main cited drivers behind use of the brand are the oral administration and perceived efficacy. Broad uptake of Xeljanz in PsA could be tempered by a lack of a psoriasis indication, something two-thirds of rheumatologists say is an important consideration when choosing a therapy for PsA.

Use of Taltz is largely driven by the brand’s perceived efficacy, IL-17 MOA, and patient severity, with rheumatologists noting the ideal patient will typically have severe skin involvement. And while the general newness of Taltz is the leading reason for current non-use, over one-third also note they are satisfied with other treatments. Indeed, one of Taltz’s greatest hurdles will be distinguishing itself from in-class rival, Cosentyx, a brand with which rheumatologists are highly familiar and satisfied.

Despite Xeljanz providing a second oral option that is well known to the rheumatologist population, and Taltz being the second approved IL-17 inhibitor for the treatment of PsA, Celgene’s Otezla and Novartis’ Cosentyx appear to be dodging any direct impacts thus far. Indeed, use of both agents has remained relatively unchanged over the past quarter, while Amgen’s Enbrel and Janssen’s Stelara appear to have taken the greatest hits since the entry of the newest agents.

The PsA launches of Orencia and Simponi Aria have, overall, been less impactful. Since entering the PsA market in July 2017, Orencia’s user-base has consistently experienced quarter over quarter growth; however, in the most recent wave of research in Q1, total initiations per user are down; likely due to the approvals of Xeljanz and Taltz. Rheumatologist feedback suggests that Orencia will likely find its PsA niche in patients with more severe joint disease, less skin involvement (due to the lack of a corresponding indication in psoriasis), and for patients with increased safety concerns. For Simponi Aria, rheumatologists largely note that use of the brand will be limited to PsA patients who prefer infused products, are keen on the shorter length of infusion compared to Remicade, and as a new option for those with Medicare coverage.

Though all the recently launched products surely have their respective niches within the PsA paradigm, there remains ample opportunity for agents in development to make their mark on this established, and somewhat crowded, market. Half of all rheumatologists note that they believe there is still a high unmet need for new biologics to treat PsA. Indeed, rheumatologists report that among biologic/JAK-treated patients, more than one in five is having a suboptimal response, a figure that is closer to 40% for Otezla. It remains to be seen whether late stage pipeline contenders, such as AbbVie’s upadacitinib and Janssen’s Tremfya (guselkumab), can meet the existing PsA needs and wants of US rheumatologists, as familiarity and awareness with both late-stage pipeline assets are currently low.

RealTime Dynamix: Psoriatic Arthritis US is an independent report series published on a quarterly basis. The series tracks the evolution of the PsA market, provides a deep dive on launch effectiveness, and highlights opportunities for pipeline agents. The next wave of research will be published in June 2018.

About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is an independent 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.

All company, brand or product names in this document are trademarks of their respective holders.

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Lynn Price, Immunology Franchise Head

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