Simponi Use Expected to Grow

A survey reveals that rheumatologists and dermatologists expect to increase their use of Centocor Ortho Biotech's Simponi .

A survey reveals that rheumatologists and dermatologists expect to increase their use of Centocor Ortho Biotech’s Simponi (DMARD) to treat psoriatic arthritis by the end of 2014.

The survey was conducted by Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues. The physicians surveyed said they expect to use Simponi as a first-line disease-modifying antirheumatic drug to treat the condition.

The new report, entitled “Treatment Algorithms in Psoriatic Arthritis,” demonstrates that Simponi's (once per month) dosing as compared with other TNF-alpha inhibitors may contribute to the anticipated rise in first-line DMARD prescriptions.

The drug launched in 2009 but has yet to get meaningful patient share in earlier lines of DMARD treatment. While 65% of surveyed rheumatologists and 12% of surveyed dermatologists prescribe Simponi, most of its use is derived from the third line.

“Simponi has favorable dosing -- once a month -- compared to the other TNF-alpha inhibitors, and this might contribute to the anticipated rise in first-line DMARD prescriptions,” said Decision Resources Analyst Laila Siddique, in a press release. “In contrast, more frequent dosing for Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel and Abbott's Humira may decrease physicians' willingness to prescribe these TNF-alpha inhibitors.”

Simponi is manufactured by Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. The drug received FDA approval in April 2009 and became the first once-monthly anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha therapy approved for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active RA, active psoriatic arthritis, and active ankylosing spondylitis. Simponi is a human monoclonal antibody that targets and neutralizes excess TNF-alpha. When TNF-aplha, a protein, is overproduced in the body due to chronic inflammatory diseases it can cause inflammation and damage to bones, cartilage and tissue.

Recently, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. submitted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) to the FDA to expand the Simponi (golimumab) physician label.

The company seeks to have the label include inhibiting the progression of structural damage, inducing major clinical response (MCR) and maintenance of reducing signs and symptoms and improving physical function in the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Decision Resources performs international market research, advisory services and consulting. The company combines in-depth primary research with the extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from IMS LifeLink's Health Plans Claims database to provide insight into physicians' prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy product choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease.