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Survey: Emerging Agents Offer Advantages Over Current Breast Cancer Therapies

Improvements in efficacy endpoints are key drivers of prescribing (May 21)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm based in Burlington, Mass., finds that the effect of an emerging agent on key efficacy endpoints, including overall survival and time to disease progression, has the most influence over surveyed U.S. and European oncologists’ prescribing decisions for advanced/metastatic hormone-receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

The survey findings indicate that two novel emerging therapies — palbociclib (PD-0332991; Pfizer) and buparlisib (BKM-120; Novartis), both in combination with currently available hormonal therapies — are set to offer efficacy advantages over currently available agents used to treat this breast cancer population.

The report also finds that surveyed U.S. oncologists would prescribe palbociclib to 50% of their first-line advanced/metastatic HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer patients.

Further, the report finds that surveyed pharmacy directors at managed care organizations (MCOs) are particularly receptive to novel therapies that offer an improvement in the overall response rate (ORR) in this patient population. However, while several emerging therapies hold promise, none is expected to match the clinical improvement in ORR over current therapies that surveyed U.S. payers indicated would be necessary for widespread inclusion on MCO formularies.

“This population represents a large and therefore potentially lucrative market segment for drug developers,” said analyst Amy Duval. “The majority of hormonal therapies used to treat patients in this population are generic, and market dynamics had been stagnating until last year’s approval of everolimus (Novartis’s Afinitor) in this population. Uptake of everolimus and the development of promising late-stage clinical prospects, such as palbociclib and buparlisib, are set to reinvigorate this market segment.”

Source: Decision Resources; May 21, 2013.

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