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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Wide and deep 2013

Written by: | chris.truelove@medadnews.com | Dated: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

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Top Cancer Drug Sales (Excel Document)

The late-stage pipeline of oncology drugs remains large, consisting of a wide array of new molecular entities as well as already-marketed medicines being explored for new indications and formulations (please see the chart starting on page 14). The entire oncology market is estimated to grow about eight percent annually during the next five years. New growth drivers will include anticipated blockbuster anti-cancer agents such as nivolumab from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical; ibrutinib from Janssen Biotech and Pharmacyclics; and Reolysin from Oncolytics Biotech.

At June’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), more than 25,000 attendees heard presentations from researchers about new drugs in development and new procotols for treating diverse cancers. Experts at Encuity Research, a division of Campbell Alliance, did an after-conference study of attendee perceptions of the presentations and their potential impact on future treatment. According to Encuity, oncologists attending ASCO 2013 reported that the most important pieces of clinical information presented at the conference were about new treatments for melanoma, with an emphasis on PD-1 treatments; and advances in the treatment of cervical cancer, particularly Avastin.

Of the 100 attendees surveyed, 66 percent rated the info presented on Genentech/Roche’s Avastin as very or extremely valuable. Information on Bayer/Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ Nexavar in thyroid cancer received the second-highest rating, with 58 percent of the attendees saying it was valuable to them.

Also receiving high ratings were nivolumab in lung, melanoma and kidney cancer, with 57 percent of those surveyed finding the information valuable; Merck & Co.’s lambrolizumab (product code MK-3475) for advanced melanoma, with 54 percent finding the information of value; Janssen Biotech’s Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) in castrate-resistant prostate cancer, with 53 percent finding the information valuable; Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Yervoy (ipilimumab) in melanoma, with 53 percent finding the info of value; Genentech/Roche’s MPDL3208A in advanced lung, skin, kidney, and other cancers; GlaxoSmithKline’s trametinib in melanoma and dabrafenib in metastatic melanoma with 49 percent saying the information on each was valuable; and Genentech/Daiichi Sankyo’s Zelboraf (vemurafenib) in melanoma, also with 49 percent finding the info valuable. (For more information about Janssen’s oncology pipeline and Zytiga, see the Q&A below with John Wilson, VP of Sales & Marketing, Oncology, for Janssen Biotech.)

Surprisingly, oncologists told Encuity researchers that ASCO 2013 had significantly less of an impact on their future behavior than the 2012 conference. Just 16 percent of attendees from this year’s ASCO reported that they are likely to change patient treatments, compared with 40 percent in 2012.

Among the products that had the strongest impact on physicians were Avastin, with 22 percent of physicians saying they will consider using more of it following the conference; Erbitux, with 10 percent of physicians saying they would use it more; and 9 percent of physicians said they planned to extend the use of AstraZeneca’s Nolvadex (tamoxifen) to 10 years versus the current standard of five years.

When asked which companies provided the most valuable information at the conference, Genentech was mentioned the most frequently, garnering mentions from 84 percent of those surveyed, followed by Bristo-Myers Squibb with 43 percent of mentions. Novartis ranked third with 29 percent of mentions; Merck ranked fourth with 20 percent, followed by Celgene with 16 percent of mentions. Also among the top 10 were Amgen and Pfizer, each with 15 percent of the mentions; Bayer with 10 percent of the mentions; GlaxoSmithKline with 8 percent of the mentions; and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly, each with 6 percent of the mentions.

Millennium was cited most often as an up-and-coming company in treating cancer with 13 percent of attendee mentions. Seattle Genetics followed, garnering 11 percent of the mentions. Sanofi, Pharmacyclics, Onyx, and Astellas each got 9 percent of the mentions.

According to Encuity, more than two thirds of physicians indicated that they visited the exhibit hall at the 2013 conference. Of the attendees surveyed, 29 percent indicated that Genentech/Roche had the most effective exhibit booth, followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb at 10 percent and Amgen at 8 percent. About 5 percent of attendees each rated Pfizer’s, Novartis’, and Celgene’s booth as most effective.

When asked to rate the product info they heard, with 1 being “not valuable” and 7 being “extremely valuable,” 44 percent of those surveyed gave Novartis’ Afinitor and Pfizer’s Sutent in metastatic renal cell carcinoma a 6 or 7. Oncologists ranked info for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ MM-398 in pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and glioma, and Amgen’s T-VEC (talimogene laherparepvec) for melanoma among the least valuable, with 26 percent in each case rating it a 6 or 7.

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