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MS market set to grow 4% annually

Predictedto reach $20bn by 2023 partly due to Plegridy and ocrelizumab launches

The multiple sclerosis (MS) market across the world's biggest pharma territories is set to grow by 4% annually over the next decade, according to analysts.

Decision Resources Group says revenues in the therapy area will steady growth between now and 2023 across the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan to reach more than $20bn.

The boost will be driven by the launch of five immuno-modulatory therapies for relapsing forms of the degenerative disease. However, the $20bn does not represent the peak figure over the next decade - the analysts' research suggests competition from future generics and biosimilars will cause sales to contract from a 2018 peak of over $22bn.

When it comes to branded medicines, Biogen Idec's Plegridy, Roche/Genentech's ocrelizumab, Biogen Idec/AbbVie's daclizumab, Teva/Active Biotech's Nerventra and Receptos' RPC-1063 are the projected launches in question, while the expected US green light for Sanofi's Lemtrada will add bulk to the figures.

But the next ten years will also see the launch of the first generic MS therapies and the potential launch of biosimilar interferon beta products, with generic orals also moving to the fore, the report says.

Decision Resources Group suggests that experts it talks to “routinely note the pressing unmet need for effective therapies to treat progressive forms of MS”, and the company believes commercial potential is sizeable.

Analyst John Crowley said: “We expect a drug's approval for secondary- or primary-progressive MS could result in sales exceeding $1bn in that population alone.”

Other key findings of the report are that Biogen's oral MS therapy Tecfidera will dominate the US market by 2015 “supported by gradually declining reliance on the platform injectable therapies”.

But this is not to say that injectables are dead in the water: both Plegridy and Teva's Copaxone 40 mg three-times weekly are expected to earn blockbuster sales of more than $1bn/year over the next decade, the report adds.

Meanwhile, there is hope from experts that Roche/Genentech's ocrelizumab may become a preferred agent in later-line MS treatment - although it has to prove its safety in ongoing phase III studies.

Biogen's phase II candidate BIIB-033 is also identified as a treatment with great potential, but the report sounds a note of caution, pointing to the difficulty that exists in MS research of identifying valid drug targets and finding the optimal design for clinical trials.

Article by
Adam Hill

8th August 2014

From: Sales



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