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Report: Depression Drug Brintellix Has Big Potential

Generics expected to challenge new launches through 2022 (August 1)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm located in Burlingon, Mass., forecasts that the emerging antidepressant drug Brintellix (vortioxetine, Lundbeck/Takeda Pharmaceuticals) will attain “blockbuster” status for unipolar depression in the U.S., Europe, and Japan by 2022.

Brintellix is expected to be one of the most successful new agents in the unipolar depression market because of its potential for positive effects on cognition and its reasonably tolerable side-effect profile, the report says. The drug will likely be positioned as a first-line option for elderly patients with depression and as a second-line therapy for patients who fail a generic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

The report also finds that sales of major drugs in the unipolar depression market will decline by 30% from 2012 to 2022 owing to the entry of generics such as escitalopram (Cipralex, Lundbeck; Lexapro, Forest Laboratories) as well as expanded generic competition for venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR, Pfizer). The launch of Brintellix and two other emerging antidepressants — edivoxetine (Eli Lilly) and levomilnacipran (Fetzima, Forest Laboratories) — by 2022 will be insufficient to counteract this decline, the report says.

“In a highly genericized and fragmented market, in which SSRIs and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are and will remain deeply entrenched first-line agents, the uptake of emerging therapies among physicians will be highly dependent on their successful differentiation from currently available SSRIs and SNRIs,” said analyst Alana K. Simorellis, PhD. “An antidepressant or antipsychotic proven to be more effective in treatment-resistant patients would quickly gain physician acceptance and experience use, likely as part of an augmentation strategy.”

Source: Decision Resources; August 1, 2013.

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