Spherix Global Insights

February 06, 2023

Spherix Global Insights Announces Special Coverage of Amgen’s Amjevita Launch, Tracking Uptake and Perceptions of the First Commercially-available Biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira

According to a survey of autoimmune specialists, in the first week of launch, aided awareness of Amjevita is high, but willingness to prescribe is lacking.

EXTON, Pa., February 6, 2023 – AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) is the world’s best selling drug, but the entry of biosimilar challengers, with Amgen’s Amjevita being the first of many more to come, is poised to put a dent in that title.  Fortunately for AbbVie, stellar launches of other agents such as Rinvoq (upadacitinib) and Skyrizi (risankizumab), has kept the titan on top as the leading player in the autoimmune space.

Biosimilars are not new in the United States, or in the autoimmune markets.  Beginning in 2016, biosimilar agents to Janssen’s Remicade (Pfizer’s Inflectra, Merck’s Renflexis, and Amgen’s Avsola) hit the market, resulting in not only erosion to branded Remicade share, but an overall dip in infliximab use.  The difference with the adalimumab biosimilar entry is the sheer size of the Humira market, the strategic blocking of adalimumab biosimilars to date, and the vast number of challengers expected to enter the race with some anticipated to bring significant promotional muscle.

Amgen has a short window of opportunity as the only adalimumab biosimilar, and that window closes in July 2023 when potentially seven more adalimumab competitors could enter the market.  Achieving preferred access with managed care plans will be key in such a crowded market, but Amgen is also betting that they can glean a competitive edge by leveraging their reputation in the autoimmune space (the company also markets Enbrel and Otezla) and supporting Amjevita with strong promotion and patient support.

Spherix surveyed 78 rheumatologists, dermatologists, and gastroenterologists last Friday, following the first week of Amjevita’s launch.  Unaided awareness of Amjevita was low, but aided awareness was high, with roughly three in four physicians reporting knowledge of the launch.  Most learned about Amjevita via online news feeds or colleagues, few have had interaction with a sales representative; though respondents largely agree that they have increased confidence in Amjevita since Amgen is the manufacturer.

Unsurprisingly, specialists are more willing to use Amjevita in biologic-naïve patients as opposed to switching patients who are stable on Humira.  The majority agree that they will not use the product unless payers mandate it; only about 10% indicate they will prescribe Amjevita outright.  While cost (to the system, to the patient) is a motivator to use biosimilars, there is barely any understanding among physicians of the cost and/or price of Amjevita.  Most have expectations, however, that it will be at a discount to branded Humira.  Of note, gastroenterologists appear to be slightly more receptive to Amjevita than their dermatology and rheumatology counterparts, as evidenced by increased willingness to outright prescribe the biosimilar or at least not specifically continuing to prescribe branded Humira.

Throughout 2023, Spherix will be tracking the evolution of the adalimumab (and broader US biosimilar) market via the Special Topix: Biosimilars Today and Tomorrow series.  Through partnership with Spherix’s vast network of dermatologists, rheumatologists, and gastroenterologists, Spherix will collect monthly data on awareness, familiarity, use and uptake, timeline to trial, promotional effort, managed care trends, and projected use.  On a quarterly basis, the company will conduct a deep dive into barriers, promotion, patient types, patient engagement, the auto-immune biosimilar pipeline, and the managed care experience from the perspective of both physicians and biologic-coordinators who are on the front line of prior authorizations and managed care navigation.  As additional biosimilars enter the market in July (Boehringer Ingelheim’s Cyltezo, Samsung Bioepis/Organon’s Hadlima, and Coherus’ Yusimry, as well as several potential additional assets), Spherix will also explore differentiation between biosimilar brands.

About Special Topix™

Special Topix ™ is an independent service that includes accesss to a report or series of reports based on current events or topics of interest in specialty markets covered by Spherix.

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:

Chrystal Ferguson, Insights Director, Biosimilars
[email protected]

Scott Upham, Corporate Communications
[email protected]

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