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A Recent Study by ITG's Majestic Market Research Indicates a Strong Launch for Gilenya in Spite of Its Time-Consuming Initiation Process

NEW YORK, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published this week by ITG's Majestic Market Research revealed that Novartis' recently approved drug, Gilenya, continues to steal share from market leaders in the multiple sclerosis (MS) market, and uptake is expected to increase significantly over the next year.  Gilenya came onto the market in late September 2010 as the first FDA-approved oral disease-modifying MS drug.  Despite negative sentiment around Gilenya's lengthy initiation process, neurologists are embracing the new drug at an impressive rate.  Real time data from ITG's proprietary physician panel indicate that Gilenya was the disease-modifying treatment of choice for 20% of new written MS prescriptions in April.  Furthermore, surveyed neurologists indicated that their prescribing of Gilenya will increase significantly over the course of 2011 as they continue to shift inadequate responders from other MS therapies to the new drug.

The study takes an in-depth look at how Gilenya's multi-step initiation process is impacting neurologists' use of the drug.  According to neurologists, new treatment starts for Gilenya typically take between three to six weeks and involve the scheduling and organization of prescreening tests and ongoing monitoring for adverse events.  

Physicians reported that Novartis plays an important role in facilitating these steps. In fact, 63% of Gilenya prescribers indicated that they receive support from Novartis during this process, and 25% of them classified this assistance as superior to what competing companies offer for their products.  

By comparison, neurologists appear unable to get over similar concerns about Acorda Therapeutics' Ampyra, which was launched in March 2010 as the first FDA approved drug to improve walking in MS patients. Like Gilenya, Ampyra is associated with an onerous initiation process.  Neurologists described an overwhelming degree of red tape affiliated with the reimbursement of Ampyra.  Of surveyed Ampyra prescribers, 40% reported reimbursement issues with the drug.  Unlike Gilenya, Ampyra's launch appears to be greatly hindered by these issues.  Since neurologists view Ampyra's efficacy as questionable and limited to a niche subset of the MS population, they seem less willing to jump through hoops to get patients on it.  The difference in how neurologists are handling Gilenya versus Ampyra is indicative of the cost-benefit analysis that is inherent in every treatment decision.  Neurologists have made more of a commitment to Gilenya because they believe it can deliver meaningful benefits to their patients and Novartis is facilitating the delivery of those benefits.  This hasn't been the case with Ampyra.  Data from ITG's proprietary physician panel have pointed to waning demand for Ampyra, which the study concludes is unlikely to improve without material changes to the drug's reimbursement situation.

Conducted in April - May 2011, the study includes analysis of a targeted Internet survey of 100 neurologists and proprietary longitudinal treatment data from a panel of 225 neurologists spanning 2005-2011. Through triangulation of quantitative and qualitative findings from these two data sources, the report provides an in-depth look at the launch of Gilenya and the potential for future oral disease-modifying drugs in the multiple sclerosis market. In addition, the report evaluates uptake and use of Acorda Therapeutics' Ampyra as a supportive agent in the MS space.

About Event Pulse

Event Pulse is a syndicated report series that evaluates the impact of market events on physician treatment practices. These report series provide information on how changes such as new products, data, or guidelines fit into the treatment algorithm, impact current therapies and change market dynamics.

About ITG's Majestic Market Research

ITG's Majestic Market Research is the primary market research offering of ITG, an independent agency research brokerage firm founded in 1987. Since 2002, ITG has revolutionized the research business with its differentiated research platform based upon leveraging large amounts of statistically relevant, real-time data. While traditional research is frequently based on publicly available data, anecdotal information and channel checks of limited sample sizes, the company leverages its exclusive relationships with industry data providers, proprietary Web harvesting technology and rigorous primary research capabilities to generate fresh insights from superior analysis of a vast array of data.

ITG is a specialist in delivering the highest quality, healthcare market intelligence quickly—combining survey results with proprietary empirical data to deliver innovative syndicated and custom reporting. Our cutting-edge market research capabilities enable us to provide clients with the intelligence and clarity they need to make informed business decisions. 

To learn more about ITG's unique healthcare research capabilities, please contact Christina Brown, Vice President of Healthcare Sales at: 646.584.6061,, or visit our website:

ITG Media/Investor Contact:
J.T. Farley
(212) 444-6259

2011 Investment Technology Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or retransmitted without permission. Any unauthorized usage or transmission is strictly prohibited. Investment research products and services are offered by ITG Investment Research, Inc., and not ITG Inc. (a FINRA Member firm and SIPC Member). ITG, the ITG logo, and ITG Investment Research, Inc. are trademarks of Investment Technology Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, service marks, logos, and trade names are owned by their respective owners. [#52611-25925]

Any opinions, claims, forecasts or estimates in this marketing material are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and there can be no assurance that future results or events will be consistent with any such opinions, forecasts or estimates.

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