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Survey: Better Remission Maintenance Is Top Unmet Need in Crohn’s Disease

U.S. payers receptive to new therapies that provide improvement (June 27)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that a therapy that enables a greater percentage of patients to maintain remission is one of the attributes that most influences surveyed U.S. and European gastroenterologists’ prescribing decisions in patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease (CD). However, based on clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders, no emerging therapies are poised to fulfill this need.

The report also finds that surveyed pharmacy directors of U.S. managed care organizations (MCOs) are particularly willing to grant favorable formulary status to new therapies for moderate-to-severe CD that offer an improved effect on the induction of remission and on maintenance of remission over currently available treatment options. Nonetheless, although emerging therapies for moderate-to-severe CD hold promise, none is expected to match the clinical improvement over current therapies required by surveyed U.S. payers for widespread inclusion on MCO formularies.

Further, the report finds that surveyed U.S. gastroenterologists would prescribe the emerging cell adhesion molecule inhibitor vedolizumab (Takeda) to a median 10% of their total drug-treated CD patients. Although vedolizumab is expected to earn a substantially lower patient share in the maintenance treatment setting, given the assumption that it will be used primarily after failure with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors, the survey finds that other factors will contribute to the drug being positioned slightly better than other emerging biologics to capture patient share in the TNF-refractory CD population.

“Several factors, including vedolizumab’s earlier market entry than Janssen’s Stelara, promising efficacy as a maintenance therapy in phase III clinical trials, and an expected lower price than Stelara, indicate that vedolizumab will be slightly better positioned to capture uptake in the TNF-refractory CD population,” said analyst Kathryn Beane.

Source: Decision Resources; June 27, 2013.

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