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Enbrel and Humira Remain the Mainstay for First-Line Biologic Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

EXTON, Pa., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that the vast majority of patients treated with Amgen's Enbrel and AbbVie's Humira—significantly more patients than those treated with any other nontraditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug—were biologic-naive and, therefore, taking these agents as their first-line biologic treatment. Although Pfizer's Xeljanz has been on the market for only about six months at the time this study was fielded, nearly 60 percent of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients currently treated with Xeljanz were biologic-naive prior to initiation, which is in-line with its FDA-approved label.  Xeljanz-treated patients who were previously treated with another agent were most commonly switched from Enbrel, Humira and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia IV.

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The ChartTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis (US) report also finds that, according to rheumatologists managing their care, the majority of Xeljanz-treated RA patients in the audit are showing good to excellent pain relief, functional status and quality of life. Also, 81 percent of Xeljanz-treated RA patients in the audit have experienced partial or complete remission since beginning treatment. 

"In addition to the positive response that physicians are reporting, nearly three-quarters of Xeljanz-treated patients are showing no signs of progression of structural damage," said BioTrends Research Group Associate Director Lynn Price. "This is an important issue for Pfizer as they are seeking expansion of the Xeljanz RA label to include inhibition of progression of structural damage."

The recently published report also finds that treating rheumatologists would consider switching over half of their patients who are currently treated with Genentech's Actemra IV to the subcutaneous formulation of Actemra if it were commercially available.  Moreover, treating physicians would consider switching 22-34 percent of their patients currently treated with Orencia IV and 20-25 percent of their patients who are treated with Genentech/Biogen Idec's Rituxan or Janssen Biotech's Simponi to subcutaneous Actemra, Incyte/Eli Lilly's baricitinib, Sanofi/Regeneron's sarilumab or GlaxoSmithKline/Janssen Biotech's sirukumab, if these agents were on the market.

ChartTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis (US) is a quantitative publication based on patient audit data collected from 983 biologic- or Xeljanz-treated RA patient charts provided by 217 rheumatologists in May - June 2013 in the United States. Through an in-depth review of specific patient charts, details such as product dosing and titration, switching, concomitant medications and a host of laboratory and patient demographic variables help define patient types and identify therapy triggers. Requirements for the patient charts include: at least 18 years of age and less than 90 years of age, currently on one of the FDA-approved biologic agents for RA or Xeljanz, and under the rheumatologist's personal management for at least six months. All collection methods were designed in compliance with HIPAA.

About BioTrends Research Group
BioTrends Research Group provides syndicated and custom primary market research to pharmaceutical manufacturers competing in clinically evolving, specialty pharmaceutical markets. For information on BioTrends publications and research capabilities, please contact us at BioTrends is a Decision Resources Group company.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources Group at

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Christopher Comfort

SOURCE BioTrends Research Group
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