Cosentyx May Change Disease Progression for Ankylosing Spondylitis


Feb. 19 2018, Updated 7:34 a.m. ET

Cosentyx in ankylosing spondylitis

On November 6, 2017, Novartis (NVS) announced positive data from the MEASURE 1 trial, which highlighted the potential of Cosentyx in preventing the progression of disease in the majority of the patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Spondyloarthritis is an umbrella term for inflammatory diseases that involve both the joints and the entheses (the sites where the ligaments and tendons attach to the bones). The most common of these diseases is ankylosing spondylitis.”

The chart above highlights the disease progression in conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

The company commenced a head-to-head study, SURPASS, which compares the efficacy of Cosentyx with Sandoz’s investigational biosimilar referencing AbbVie’s (ABBV) Humira and Amgen’s Enbrel in the ankylosing spondylitis indication.

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Ankylosing spondylitis: Market opportunity

According to Novartis’s estimates about the US biologics market in 2016, there were ~1.1 million patients with ankylosing spondylitis in the US. Of these, around 520,000 patients were diagnosed, which is ~46.0% of the total patient population.

Only 440,000 patients, or 85% of the diagnosed patients, were treated with systemic therapy. Of these, around 84,000 (or 19% of the treated patients) were prescribed biologic therapies such as tumor necrosis factor (or TNF) inhibitors and anti-IL17A therapies.

Amgen’s (AMGN) Enbrel and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Simponi are approved biologics in ankylosing spondylitis indication.

EU5 biologics market

According to Novartis’s estimates about the EU5 biologics market in 2016, there were ~1.1 patients with ankylosing spondylitis in these countries. Of these, ~510,000 patients were diagnosed, which is around 46.0% of the total patient population.

Only 430,000 patients, or 84% of the diagnosed ankylosing spondylitis patients, were eligible for treatment with biologics. Of these, around 103,000 (or 24% of the eligible patients) are prescribed biologic therapies.

Based on IMS data, Novartis estimates that the global rheumatology market was worth $29.0 billion in 2016, of which spondyloarthritis accounted for $9.0 billion. The rheumatology market is expected to grow at a CAGR [1. compound average growth rate of 0.7%] and reach $31.0 billion by 2022. The increasing size of the rheumatology market coupled with the low penetration of biologics in ankylosing spondylitis may provide a strong growth opportunity for Cosentyx in future years.

In the next article, we’l discuss growth prospects for Kymriah.


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