Benlysta Continues to Gain Increased Market Share among U.S. Rheumatologists Six-Months Post-Launch, According to a Recent BioTrends Report

Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:03pm EST

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Benlysta Continues to Gain Increased Market Share among U.S. Rheumatologists Six-Months Post-Launch, According to a Recent BioTrends Report

The LaunchTrends®: Benlysta Wave 3 report, which measures product uptake and commercial effectiveness at six months post launch, finds that over half of surveyed rheumatologists have initiated trial on Benlysta, up from 36% at three months post-launch and significantly higher than 25% at one month post-launch. One of the most notable shifts in prescribing since one month post-launch is a significant increase in current Benlysta shares for the moderate and severe patient groups.

Rheumatologists continue to view the main benefit for Human Genome Sciences/GSK’s Benlysta, the first drug approved for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in five decades, as its novel mechanism of action, while its main disadvantages continues to center around its cost (as relates to the patients’ out-of-pocket expense), its intravenous route of administration, and its limited indications. However, safety concerns specific to Benlysta are significantly higher among non-users at six months versus Benlysta users. Since Wave 2, Benlysta has been most associated with achieving decreased use of steroids and improvement in quality of life.

Overall projections for future use are favorable with about 75% of surveyed rheumatologists planning to newly initiate an average of 7 lupus patients on Benlysta in the next month. The timeline for reimbursement approval and identifying the appropriate patient types could slow this uptake but overall projections for the growth of Benlysta remain strong.

Preliminary findings from a soon-to-be released ChartTrends®: Lupus U.S. report which analyzes over 1,000 SLE patient charts, including 300+ patient charts for Benlysta, revealed that Benlysta patients tend to have a significantly higher prevalence of systemic clinical manifestations and a significantly improved disease course versus non-Benlysta patients. In addition, patients on Benlysta tend to use significantly less Plaquenil, NSAIDs, and CellCept than non-Benlysta users. Over two-thirds of rheumatologists feel that Benlysta is an important advance for their patients with moderate-to-severe SLE and that the use of Benlysta should allow for more patients to have a steroid-free regimen which the majority of rheumatologists agree has significant value.

About ChartTrends

ChartTrends®: Lupus U.S. is an annual, quantitative publication based on patient and laboratory data collected from over 1,000 SLE patient charts in the U.S. It is designed to compare what physicians self-report about disease management to what actually occurs at the patient level. The reports provide insight into the factors that drive decisions to treat, brand selection of SLE therapies, patient characterizations, and dosing trends among rheumatologists. Through an in-depth review of specific patient charts, details such as product initiation, switching, concomitant medications, acute flare management, and patient demographic variables help define patient types and identify therapy drivers. Patient profiles for the marketed SLE treatments as well as products in late stage clinical development for SLE are characterized.

ChartTrends®: Lupus U.S. 2011 report captures information from 1079 patient charts provided by 198 board-certified rheumatologists in October-November 2011.

About LaunchTrends

LaunchTrends®: Benlysta is a series of three post-launch syndicated reports designed to track the uptake of Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta at one month, three months and six months following its commercial availability. LaunchTrends® assesses trial and use of new products, barriers to use, reasons to use, typical patient types, line of therapy, product perceptions, promotional efforts/messages and product satisfaction.

In the current wave of research, which measures BENLYSTA’s market impact at six months post launch, BioTrends surveyed 77 board-certified rheumatologists and conducted qualitative interviews with a subset of 20 of the respondents in October 2011. BioTrends will continue to track the uptake of BENLYSTA in a special one year post-launch report (added at the clients’ request) to be published in April 2012, and in the ongoing TreatmentTrends®: Lupus U.S. and TreatmentTrends®: Lupus EU reports.

About BioTrends Research Group, LLC

BioTrends Research Group, LLC provides syndicated and custom market research to pharmaceutical manufacturers competing in clinically evolving, specialty pharmaceutical markets. For information on BioTrends publications and research capabilities, please contact us at (610) 363-3872 or

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BioTrends Research Group, LLC
Todd Samuelson, 781-993-2673
Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597