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Report: Ulcerative Colitis Drug Market Will Double Over Next Decade

Uptake of Humira, Simponi, vedolizumab, and tofacitinib drives market growth (Dec. 19)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm based in Burlington, Mass., finds that the ulcerative colitis drug market will double over the next decade, increasing to $3.7 billion in 2021 in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The uptake of two premium-priced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors — Humira (adalimumab, Abbott) and Simponi (golimumab, Janssen Biotech) — and of two novel therapies — the cell adhesion molecule (CAM) inhibitor vedolizumab (Takeda) and the oral Janus-activated kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib (Pfizer) — will primarily drive growth during this period, as will the expanding number of diagnosed prevalent cases of ulcerative colitis, the company says.

Increased physician acceptance of TNF-alpha inhibitors for the treatment of moderate-to-severe disease and patient preference for convenient subcutaneous administration are expected to fuel the uptake of the newer TNF-alpha inhibitors Humira and Simponi through 2021. Owing to its perceived greater efficacy than that of Humira in separate phase III trials and to favorable gastroenterologist opinion, Simponi will challenge the standing of intravenous Remicade (infliximab, Janssen Biotech) as the most frequently prescribed agent in the TNF-alpha inhibitor class. However, Remicade will remain the patient-share leader among the TNF-alpha inhibitors, maintaining a relatively constant patient share across the G7 countries, based on its well-established efficacy. Sales of Simponi are expected to overtake Remicade’s sales in 2017, based largely on the former’s premium price and assumed high dosing in ulcerative colitis, driving the market’s growth as the new sales leader.

The launches of two promising premium-priced novel agents — vedolizumab and tofacitinib — in 2014 and 2016, respectively, will contribute to increasing sales over the ten-year forecast period, with the two drugs gaining most initial use for the treatment of TNF-refractory ulcerative colitis.

“These agents will likely extend the treatment algorithm by offering, for the first time, additional lines of therapy for patients with inadequate response to the TNF-alpha inhibitors,” said analyst Kathrina Quinn, PhD. “Although the TNF-refractory market is relatively limited in size, the high unmet need for treatments that cater to this population and potentially delay or prevent colectomy will drive major-market sales of approximately $740 million in 2021, constituting about 20 percent total market share.”

Toward the end of the forecast period, the company anticipates that vedolizumab and tofacitinib will begin to overtake the use of adalimumab as gastroenterologists move to another drug class after trying one or two TNF-alpha inhibitors. Even though vedolizumab is expected to launch first, tofacitinib’s uptake will likely overtake that of vedolizumab based on its oral delivery and on postmarketing safety data for other immune indications.

Source: Decision Resources; December 19, 2012.

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