Spherix Global Insights

March 11, 2019

While Janssen’s Tremfya and Sun Pharmaceutical’s Ilumya are Enjoying Continued Uptake, AbbVie’s Skyrizi (Risankizumab) is Shaping up to be a Major Disruptor to the US Psoriasis Market if Approved

Janssen’s ECLIPSE clinical trial data demonstrating sustained response of Tremfya in comparison to Novartis’ Cosentyx will have an impact on US dermatologists’ prescribing behavior, according to a recent study by Spherix Global Insights

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EXTON, Pa., March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ —Spherix Global Insights’ 12th wave of RealTime Dynamix™: Psoriasis (US), which includes the feedback of 100 US dermatologists, reveals that at approximately eighteen months post-launch, Janssen’s Tremfya is still well received, with a consistent growth in user base for the treatment of psoriasis. The majority of users have prescribed Tremfya to more than five patients and anticipate prescribing the agent to even more patients in the next three months. Of note, dermatologists also report increasing satisfaction rates, with over 70% indicating they are highly satisfied with the IL-23 inhibitor.

Newly available IL-23 inhibitor, Sun Pharmaceutical’s Ilumya, also experienced growth in the present quarter with a substantial increase in user base – likely a result of added representative contact. However, the required healthcare provider (HCP) administration could be a potential pitfall for the brand, as nearly half of collaborating dermatologists indicate the in-office administration will be a large deterrent for use and do not believe it will aid in patient compliance. Indeed, one-in-ten respondents cited (unaided) the required HCP administration to be the greatest disadvantage of the brand.

Uptake of the fourth TNF inhibitor in the US psoriasis market, UCB’s Cimzia (approved in May 2018), pales in comparison to the recent launches of agents with novel mechanisms of action. However, the availability of Cimzia for the treatment of psoriasis puts UCB on the map for dermatologists, familiarizing prescribers with the manufacturer and aiding in their association of the company as a dermatology partner. This may ultimately benefit UCB, as their IL-17A/F inhibitor, bimekizumab, is currently in Phase III trials for the treatment of psoriasis. In the recently published results on the BE ABLE 2 extension study conducted by UCB, up to 79% of patients receiving bimekizumab achieved at least PASI90 at 12 weeks, and among those positive responders, nearly all maintained efficacy up to 60 weeks.1 However, in mid-December 2018, Janssen published data from their ECLIPSE trial, revealing that 85% of all patients initiated on Tremfya (not just positive responders at week 12), maintained their PASI90 response at week 48, whereas only 79% of those treated with Novartis’ IL-17A inhibitor, Cosentyx, achieved the same sustained response.

In reference to Janssen’s ECLIPSE trial, the majority of respondents report they believe Tremfya is in fact superior to Cosentyx regarding sustained efficacy and agree they would prescribe more Tremfya and less Cosentyx as a result of the trial data. Furthermore, the findings are leading some dermatologists to believe there could be a class effect at hand – specifically agreeing that because Tremfya is superior to Cosentyx on sustained response, it is also likely superior to Eli Lilly’s IL-17A inhibitor, Taltz. Indeed, the ECLIPSE results will likely provide an additional boost for the brand, as share for Tremfya is projected to significantly increase over the next six months.

With all the recent changes the psoriasis market has undergone over the past several years, it is tough to imagine further disruption is on the horizon, but AbbVie’s Skyrizi (risankizumab) is expected to gain approval in late April of this year and has the potential to rattle the market yet again. While Skyrizi will be the third IL-23 inhibitor to hit the market, this is not expected to be a major disadvantage to the brand. In fact, half of sampled dermatologists indicate they would be an early adopter of the brand because AbbVie is the manufacturer, and nearly half agree that Skyrizi’s likely twelve-week dosing schedule will be a huge advantage over Tremfya’s eight-week schedule. No doubt, dermatologists are excited about Skyrizi, with the majority anticipating use soon after launch and the agent projected to capture a sizeable portion of the psoriasis biologics market within six months of entry.

With an ever-expanding and increasingly competitive psoriasis market, it is imperative that in-line brands and assets with near term plans to enter the space find a way to differentiate themselves. One successful strategy for differentiation is to demonstrate superiority over other best-in-class brands via head to head trials, a tactic many agents are undertaking. Other factors deemed important to prescribers are high efficacy/complete clearance rates, having a dual psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis indication, and an easier/more favorable dosing schedule. Spherix Global Insights will continue to track this ever-evolving market via the quarterly RealTime Dynamix™ report series in both the US and EU5 as well as two large-scale patient audits, RealWorld Dynamix™: Biologic/Otezla New Starts in Psoriasis (US) and RealWorld Dynamix™: Biologic/Otezla Switching in Psoriasis (US).

About RealTime Dynamix™
The RealTime Dynamix™: Psoriasis (US) report series provides a quarterly detailed and timely look at current and future trends in the psoriasis market and the effects of the future shifting landscape. The series tracks the evolution of the 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 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.

For more information contact:
Lynn Price, Immunology Franchise Head
Email: info@spherixglobalinsights.com

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1. UCB, Press Releases. Bimekizumab Demonstrated Long-Term Maintenance of Complete or Almost Complete Skin Disease Resolution for Psoriasis Patients in BE ABLE 2 Extension Study. March 2, 2019. Link: https://www.ucb.com/stories-media/Press-Releases/article/Bimekizumab-Demonstrated-Long-Term-Maintenance-of-Complete-or-Almost-Complete-Skin-Disease-Resolution-for-Psoriasis-Patients-in-BE-ABLE-2-Extension-Study-nbsp