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At One Month Post-Launch, Nearly a Quarter of Surveyed U.S. Oncologists Have Prescribed Tafinlar for Malignant Melanoma, Compared to 15 Percent Who Used Mekinist

EXTON, Pa., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that at one month post-launch, approximately one-quarter of surveyed U.S. medical oncologists have prescribed GlaxoSmithKline's BRAF-inhibitor Tafinlar for malignant melanoma, compared with 15 percent who report having prescribed GlaxoSmithKline's MEK inhibitor, Mekinist.

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According to the first wave of the LaunchTrends® Tafinlar/Mekinist report series, the inability to differentiate between Tafinlar and Mekinist from Roche/Genentech/Daiichi Sankyo's first-to-market BRAF-inhibitor Zelboraf is the greatest constrainer of medical oncologists' prescribing of these new market entrants. While use of Tafinlar and Mekinist in combination is not FDA-approved, surveyed oncologists believe combination therapy may represent the ultimate strategy for treating BRAF-mutated unresectable/metastatic malignant melanoma and provide the optimal platform for differentiation from Zelboraf.

The report also finds that approximately half of all surveyed U.S. medical oncologists are highly willing to prescribe Tafinlar and Mekinist as monotherapies, with more than three-quarters of nonprescribers reporting that they intend to prescribe Tafinlar and Mekinist within the next six months. For first-line BRAF-mutated unresectable/metastatic malignant melanoma, the highest percentage of surveyed U.S. medical oncologists indicated that they would prescribe Tafinlar in patients with brain metastases, whereas the highest percentage of surveyed U.S. medical oncologists reported they would be most likely to prescribe Mekinist in patients harboring the BRAF V600K mutation.

"Interestingly, almost 50 percent of surveyed U.S. medical oncologists indicated they would prescribe Tafinlar or Mekinist in BRAF-mutated unresectable/metastatic malignant melanoma in patients who had progressed on a first-line of Zelboraf," said Decision Resources Group Senior Business Insights Analyst Karen Pomeranz, M.Sc., Ph.D. "This use of Tafinlar and Mekinist arises despite only provisional evidence to suggest Tafinlar exhibits efficacy following treatment with Zelboraf. Moreover, Mekinist is specifically not indicated for treatment of patients who have progressed on prior BRAF-inhibitor therapy."

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 visit 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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Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort


SOURCE BioTrends Research Group
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