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Report Foresees Declining Sales for Bisphosphonates in Osteoporosis Market

Experts think sclerostin inhibitors will be key players over next decade (Dec. 6)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm based in Burlington, Mass., finds that bisphosphonates will continue to dominate current and future prescriptions for osteoporosis. However, patent expiries of risedronate (Actonel, Warner Chilcott), zoledronate (Reclast, Novartis), and ibandronate (Boniva, Roche/GlaxoSmithKline) will mean that the decline in sales of this drug class — which started after the loss of market exclusivity for alendronate (Fosamax, Merck) — will persist through 2021 in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

The company also finds that sales of denosumab (Prolia, Amgen/GlaxoSmithKline) have not been so strong as many key opinion leaders had expected. Sales of this drug will continue to be constrained by competition from less expensive generic agents, the company predicts, as well as by physicians’ perception that denosumab-treated patients are at risk for many of the same rare but severe side effects seen with bisphosphonates because of denosumab’s antiresorptive mechanism of action.

Interviewed thought leaders considered the cathepsin K inhibitor odanacatib (Merck) and the sclerostin inhibitors — particularly AMG-785 (Amgen), the most advanced drug in this class — to be among the most promising agents that will emerge over the next 10 years, based on their potential to stimulate healthy bone formation.

Source: Decision Resources; December 6, 2012.

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