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Does the MS Market Need Another Interferon? Neurologists Provide Insight in the Wave One Report of LaunchTrends: EXTAVIA
Date:1/11/2010

EXTON, Pa., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, Inc. announces the release of the Wave One LaunchTrends(®): EXTAVIA report. The survey was completed by U.S. Neurologists (n=76) in November and December 2009, approximately one month following the launch of Novartis' Extavia (Interferon beta 1b).

Awareness of Extavia is relatively high but familiarity is more moderate. Over one-third of current Extavia users indicate this newest agent will be a likely replacement for Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) manufactured by Bayer, which was the first disease modifying agent approved nearly 20 years ago. Despite the relatively high awareness of Extavia, the projected uptake of Extavia appears to be modest with about half of the Neurologists expecting to prescribe Extavia within the next six months. The main advantages clinicians perceive with Extavia is the every other day dosing regimen and similarity to other interferon agents. On the downside, Extavia is viewed as yet another addition to an already crowded market with a similar mechanism of action and a lack of any clear clinical differentiation. According to one research participant, "Extavia is overshadowed by other new products. It's hard to get a real sense of excitement." Concern was also expressed that the treatment may not be priced sufficiently less expensive than existing agents to encourage its use, despite the fact that the pricing advantage was one of the most frequently recalled sales representative messages about the product.

Currently approved products include Biogen Idec's AVONEX and TYSABRI; Teva's COPAXONE and EMD Serono's REBIF. In an attribute analysis, surveyed Neurologists rated Copaxone as the top performing agent on nine out of ten of the most important attributes. There are also a number of agents in late stage clinical development for MS. There is a high degree of interest in the oral agents currently in development among which interest was highest for Novartis' own fingolimod, an oral sphingosine-1 modulator and EMD Serono's oral cladribine. EMD Serono received a refuse to file letter from the FDA dated November 30(th) and is currently working with the FDA toward a possible resubmission.

LaunchTrends (®) measure launch effectiveness of new products from FDA approval through six months post launch. The next wave of this report, measuring uptake at three months post launch, will be fielded on February 15th with the results to be published on February 28, 2010.

As part of BioTrends continuing commitment to the MS market we are pleased to announce the continuation of the TreatmentTrends(®): Multiple Sclerosis Report in 2010. This second report in an on-going series will cover U.S. market trends including key product use (current and future) across the different clinical manifestations of MS, disease awareness and attitudes, importance of product attributes for disease modifying therapies and brand performance against those attributes, and awareness of products in late stage development. This report is scheduled to field at the end of January and will be published in mid-February.

About BioTrends Research Group, Inc.

BioTrends Research Group, Inc. (www.bio-trends.com) provides syndicated and custom market research to pharmaceutical manufacturers competing in clinically evolving, specialty pharmaceutical markets. To purchase this report or to learn more about BioTrends' syndicated publications, please contact Paul Callahan at (610) 363-3872 or visit us at www.bio-trends.com.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks of their respective holders.

SOURCE BioTrends Research Group, Inc.

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SOURCE BioTrends Research Group, Inc.
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