PHARMACY

Decision Resources: Atrial fibrillation drug market to increase sevenfold by 2018

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. One of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, found that, owing to the launches of several new agents, the atrial fibrillation drug market will increase more than sevenfold from $790 million in 2008 to $6.1 billion in 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The new Pharmacor report entitled “Atrial Fibrillation” found that a strong pipeline of oral fixed-dose anticoagulants, most notably Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa and Bayer/Johnson & Johnson’s Xarelto, will drive significant market expansion. The market will also be driven by sales of the antiarrhythmic agent dronedarone (Sanofi-Aventis’s Multaq), which will take share from class IC and class III antiarrhythmics to capture 11% of the total atrial fibrillation patient share in 2018. The report forecasts that Multaq will garner sales of $660 million in 2018.

“Multaq is the first antiarrhythmic to demonstrate a reduction in the risk of hospitalization due to cardiovascular causes in patients with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation,” said Decision Resources analyst Ben Kong, MBBS. “Physician enthusiasm for Multaq reflects the growing importance of clinically relevant outcomes in clinical trials involving antiarrhythmic therapies.”

The report also found that Cardiome/Astellas’s Kynapid will provide an attractive alternative to electrical cardioversion, particularly in the U.S. intravenous cardioversion market, which is currently dominated by branded agents. In the U.S. alone, Kynapid will achieve sales of $130 million in 2018.

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Biogen Idec, Genentech release study results for rheumatoid arthritis treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. An investigational treatment for rheumatoid arthritis was successful in improving the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial released Friday.

Biogen Idec and Roche subsidiary Genentech announced results of a phase 3 study of ocrelizumab combined with methotrexate in patients who had not responded adequately to methotrexate alone.

“Patients living with a debilitating disease like rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from additional treatment options,” Biogen Idec VP and chief medical officer for rheumatology David Hagerty said. “We look forward to seeing the results of our ongoing phase 3 rheumatoid arthritis trials with ocrelizumab.”

The two companies expect to have results of three other trials of the drug in the first half of 2010.

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Sandoz launches topical psoriasis treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. Sandoz has launched its version of a topical drug used to treat psoriasis of the scalp, the Swiss generic drug maker announced Thursday.

The company launched calcipotriene solution in the 0.005% strength, a synthetic vitamin D3 derivative and generic version of Leo Pharma’s Dovonex Scalp Solution. The drug is used to treat moderately severe chronic psoriasis of the scalp.

Branded and generic versions of Dovonex had sales of $12.2 million during the 12-month period ended in September, according to IMS Health.

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