Rheumatoid Arthritis: KOL Insight [2017]

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Publication Date:
March 2017
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How are biosimilar anti-TNFs faring? Will your brand be affected?

After several years on the US market, the availability of Pfizer’s Xeljanz in the EU is generally welcomed by KOLs; however, it now looks like Eli Lilly/Incyte’s Olumiant (baricitinib) is likely to be launched first.

KOL’s weigh in on Olumiant’s safety and efficacy, as well as its chances to become the market leader in the JAK inhibitor space. Meanwhile, KOLs also discuss how AbbVie’s upadacitinib (ABT 494) and Galapagos/Gilead Sciences’ filgotinib shape up in an ever competitive JAK inhibitor market.

Experts also give their views on how biosimilar anti-TNFs are faring and what lies ahead for branded anti-TNFs, as well as providing insights into how Sanofi/Regeneron’s Kevzara (sarilumab) shapes up in the IL-6 inhibitor space. Twelve US and EU KOLs offer their candid insights on these issues and more.

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Top Takeaways

  • An increasing number of biosimilar anti-TNFs are being approved. How do KOLs view these products and how do they envisage their usage in the future?
  • Benepali, a biosimilar etanercept, is available in several EU countries. But what impact has this biosimilar had on Enbrel prescribing?
  • How do KOLs view Olumiant’s recent EU approval? And can Pfizer’s Xeljanz fend off competition from this product?
  • Actemra/RoActemra is regarded as a highly effective therapy. But are their differences in US/EU prescribing and how is the product expected to be prescribed in the future?
  • How does Kevzara shape up against Actemra/RoActemra? KOLs rate the potential of Kevzara and provide insights as to how it could take a slice of the anti-IL6 market.
  • Upadacitinib and filgotinib will be late-to-market. What would these products need to show in order to compete effectively?
  • KOLs discuss future trends that may play a part in shaping the future treatment of RA. What are KOLs’ thoughts on future general trends and how will these impact RA treatment in the future.
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“I followed tocilizumab for a long time and I was involved in some of their initial trials, and so I think it’s a very good drug and it’s safe. It has consistently shown very good results in clinical trials including a direct comparison with adalimumab.”
EU Key Opinion Leader

“ABT 494 [upadacitinib] is yet another JAK inhibitor. The JAK inhibitor market will become quite saturated in the future. Everyone is developing a JAK inhibitor, whether it be JAK1, JAK2 or JAK 3 etcetera. We still don’t know what difference blocking these receptors will make anyway. I don’t think all of them will survive.”
US Key Opinion Leader

Sample of therapies covered

Marketed Therapies (off-label)

  • TNF inhibitors:
    • Humira (adalimumab; AbbVie)
    • Enbrel (etanercept; Amgen/Pfizer)
    • Remicade (infliximab; Janssen Biotech/Merck & Co.)
    • Cimzia (certolizumab pegol; UCB)
    • Simponi (golimumab; Janssen Biotech/Merck & Co.)
  • Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab; Roche)
  • Orencia (abatacept; Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • Rituxan/MabThera (rituximab; Roche/Biogen)
  • Xeljanz (tofacitinib; Pfizer)
  • Anti-TNF biosimilars (e.g. Remsima/Inflectra, Benepali)

Pipeline Therapies

  • Kevzara (sarilumab; Sanofi/Regeneron)
  • sirukumab (CNTO 136; Janssen/GlaxoSmithKline)
  • olokizumab (R-Pharm/UCB)
  • Plus 3 more - download the full list now >

Earlier stage:

  • piclidenoson (CF 101; Can-Fite)
  • mavrilimumab (CAM 3001; AstraZeneca)

Sample of KOLs interviewed

KOLs from North America

  • Prof Michael E Weinblatt, MD. Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Weinblatt serves as Co-director of Clinical Rheumatology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.
  • Dr Petros Efthimiou, MD. Associate Chief of Rheumatology at New York Methodist Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Rheumatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
  • Prof Fleischmann, MD. Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and co-Medical Director of the Metroplex Clinical Research Center in Dallas, TX.

KOLs from Europe

  • Prof Paul Emery. Arthritis Research UK Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine and the Director of the Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, UK.
  • Prof Tore K Kvien. Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Oslo and Head of the Department of Rheumatology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
  • Prof Ronald F van Vollenhoven. Director of the Amsterdam Rheumatology and Immunology Center ARC and Chief of the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the AMC and of the Department of Rheumatology at VUMC (VU University Medical Center) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Plus 6 more - download the full list now >

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