Multiple Sclerosis: KOL Insight [2017]

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Publication Date:
November 2017
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How will Ocrevus reshape the MS treatment landscape?

A multitude of recent approvals and launches are changing the way MS is treated, but what does the future hold? Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are excited about Ocrevus’ approval in relapsing and progressive forms of the disease and Mavenclad’s European approval gives patients another treatment choice, but which therapy will stand out in an evolving and competitive landscape? Other disease modifying therapies are in late-stage development but which segment of the market can they expect to capture? Learn how KOLs see the market evolving, and how they expect developers to differentiate their marketed and pipeline therapies in KOL Insight: Multiple Sclerosis. Twelve of the world’s most prominent KOLs provide their candid insights on ten marketed products and seven Phase III pipeline programmes.

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Top takeaways

  • How is Ocrevus expected to fare? With approval in RRMS and PPMS, how will this new therapy be prescribed and against which products will it compete?
  • Are the new sphingosine modulators set to compete with Gilenya? With ozanimod and ponesimod both undergoing Phase III evaluation, find out how KOLs view these agents.
  • Is ofatumumab considered a real threat to Ocrevus or a ‘me-too’ drug? Do KOLs see any potential advantages, or is it too late to the game?
  • Where will Mavanclad be positioned in the treatment paradigm? This therapy received EU approval as a treatment for highly active relapsing MS, but how do KOLs envision prescribing it?
  • What factors will be important in determining biotin’s (MD-1003) future success? Pharmaceutical-grade biotin is undergoing regulatory review in Europe as a potential therapy for progressive MS, but what will need to be addressed in order to secure commercial success?
  • To what extent will oral disease-modifying therapies be prescribed in the future? Find out whether KOLs think these agents’ market share will increase, decrease or stay stable in the near future?
  • How are interferon beta products currently being prescribed? Has there been a shift in interferon beta prescribing and how do KOLs envision their use in the future?
  • What does the future hold for Copaxone as a therapy for MS? Find out KOLs’ thoughts on how this drug will be prescribed in the future and what impact a thrice-weekly generic is expected to have.
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“I expect a trial [of ofatumumab] in progressive disease. As a clinical scientist, I would love to see confirmation of the ORATORIO data with a similar or identical approach. I understand that the company is still deliberating on this.”
EU Key Opinion Leader

“We are currently using Ocrevus second-line, but in some cases first-line too. We have no barriers to prescribing, not from my standpoint. Finding infusion chairs is improving. I don't know that there are any big reimbursement issues, although I think it's an evolving story.”
North American Key Opinion Leader

Sample of therapies covered

Marketed Therapies

  • Interferon beta products (Biogen/Merck Serono/EMD Serono/Bayer/Novartis)
  • Copaxone (glatiramer acetate; Teva)
  • Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate; Biogen)
  • Aubagio (teriflunomide; Sanofi/Genzyme)
  • Gilenya (fingolimod; Novartis)
  • Tysabri (natalizumab; Biogen)
  • Lemtrada (alemtuzumab; Sanofi)
  • Zinbryta (daclizumab; Biogen/AbbVie)
  • Ocrevus (ocrelizumab; Roche/Biogen)
  • Mavenclad (cladribine; Merck Group)

Pipeline Therapies

  • ofatumumab (Novartis/Genmab)
  • biotin (MD1003; MedDay/Medical Need)
  • ozanimod (RPC 1063; Celgene)
  • siponimod (BAF 312; Novartis)
  • ponesimod (ACT 128800; Actelion)
  • ALKS 8700 (Alkermes)
  • laquinimod (Nerventra; Active Biotech/Teva)

KOLs interviewed

KOLs from North America

  • Prof Mark Freedman, MD, Professor of Medicine in the field of neurology at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Prof Shiv Saidha, MD, MBBCh, Associate Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • Prof David Hafler, MD, William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine and the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT, USA.
  • Prof Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Jacobs Multiple Sclerosis Center for Treatment and Research, University at Buffalo (SUNY), NY, USA.
  • Prof Rob Naismith, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, USA.
  • Prof Aaron Miller, MD, Medical Director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis & Professor and Vice-Chair for Education, Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

KOLs from Europe

  • Prof Patrick Vermersch, MD, Professor of Neurology at Clinique Neurologique, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille, Centre de Biologie Pathologie Génétique Lille, France.
  • Prof Celia Oreja-Guevara, MD, Chair of Clinical Research, Multiple Sclerosis Unit, Department of Neurology, IdISSC, University Hospital San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.
  • Prof Óscar Fernández, MD, Professor, Medical Neurologist and Senior Investigator at the Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Málaga, Spain.
  • Prof Daniel Guillaume, MD, Neurologist and Medical Director of the Centre Neurologique et de Réadaptation Fonctionnelle, Fraiture en Condroz, Belgium.
  • Anonymous, German KOL, Professor of Neurology at a leading German university hospital.
  • Anonymous, German KOL, Professor of Neurology at a leading German university hospital.

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