With a plethora of agents in development, manufacturers who already have one leg in the dermatology biologic/small molecule space, such as AbbVie, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Janssen, and Novartis could have a competitive edge over more novel developers.
EXTON, Pa., March 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The past decade has ushered in an array of new treatment options for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, providing dermatologists with more than they bargained for and often times making it difficult to compare efficacy across medications. Thus, it has become crucial for companies to differentiate their assets both within and outside their drug class – whether it be through head-to-head clinical trials, patient assistance programs, or building a dermatology portfolio to establish trust and a relationship as a respected partner in the field.
A noteworthy example of a company differentiating themselves from the pack is AbbVie, particularly with the launch of their third-in-class IL-23 inhibitor, Skyrizi, in psoriasis. According to the latest quarterly report included in Spherix’s RealTime Dynamix™: Plaque Psoriasis (US) service, brand share for fellow IL-23 inhibitor, Janssen’s Tremfya, as well as the IL-17 inhibitors, Novartis’ Cosentyx and Eli Lilly’s Taltz, have remained relatively flat, while AbbVie’s newest market entrant has experienced exponential growth since its April 2019 introduction. Impressively, nearly two-thirds of the 101 US dermatologists surveyed selected Skyrizi as their most preferred IL-23 inhibitor if limited to just one for the treatment of psoriasis, despite Tremfya’s almost three-year tenure on the market.
Skyrizi’s early success in psoriasis is likely attributed to a multitude of factors. Dermatologists report frequent contact with Skyrizi representatives, elevated satisfaction with the Skyrizi Complete program, high awareness of AbbVie’s head-to-head post-marketing study demonstrating superiority over Cosentyx on skin clearance, and overall greater perceived efficacy compared to other alternate mechanism of action agents. Furthermore, the manufacturer is beginning to build onto their already well-received Humira legacy, expanding their dermatology portfolio – an approach many big players in the field are partaking in.
AbbVie, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Janssen, and Novartis all own commercial products for the treatment of psoriasis as well as pipeline assets in atopic dermatitis (AD), with Pfizer holding pipeline assets in both indications. With only one biologic (Regeneron/Sanofi’s Dupixent) currently FDA approved for the treatment of moderate to severe AD and a myriad of companies (aside from those listed above) with agents in the pipeline, the future advanced systemic market in AD has the potential to mirror the current psoriasis biologic landscape.
According to the Q1 2020 report included in Spherix’s RealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis (US) service, 85% of surveyed dermatologists foresee the AD market emulating that of the crowded psoriasis market. Respondents also report a biologic/small molecule patient candidacy pool that is substantially larger than those currently treated with Dupixent and one that is comparable to the biologic-treated patient load in psoriasis.
Despite anticipated resemblances between the two markets, AD patients will likely be treated with more small molecule options, specifically JAK inhibitors. With the oral JAK inhibitors’ (Lilly’s Olumiant/baricitinib, Pfizer’s abrocitinib, and AbbVie’s Rinvoq/upadacitinib) projected launches around the corner, their location in the AD treatment paradigm will be key to uptake. Currently, one-half of dermatologists report it is unlikely these agents will be used prior to biologics in AD, which is how many prefer to utilize BMS’ Otezla for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. Instead, dermatologists will likely follow in the footsteps of rheumatologists, where both Pfizer’s Xeljanz and AbbVie’s Rinvoq currently play in-line with the injectable biologics in RA.
Dermatologists also await the approval of topical JAK inhibitors for the treatment of AD (specifically Incyte’s topical ruxolitinib and LEO’s topical delgocitinib) and anticipate using these agents prior to oral JAK inhibitor use, in less severe patients, and for short-term flare management.
With a plethora of pipeline agents with the same mechanism of action and comparable efficacy, it comes down to the strategies these manufacturers are implementing across dermatology to build trust with prescribers around their brands, hence the creation of a dermatology portfolio. Spherix will be closely tracking products in development as well as newly launched brands in both markets through the RealTime Dynamix™ services.
About RealTime Dynamix™
RealTime Dynamix™: Plaque Psoriasis (US) is an independent service providing strategic guidance through rapid and comprehensive quarterly reports, which include psoriasis market trending, launch tracking, and a fresh infusion of unique content with each wave.
A parallel service, RealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis (US), tracks the evolution of the US atopic dermatitis market on a quarterly basis.
About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is a hyper-focused market intelligence firm that leverages our own independent data and expertise to provide strategic guidance, so biopharma stakeholders make decisions with confidence. We specialize in select immunology, nephrology, and neurology markets.
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