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Disease Analysis: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Disease Analysis: Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • September 2020
  • 81 pages
  • ID: 5843147
  • Format: PDF
  • Pharma Intelligence


Table of Contents

Latest key takeaways

The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) market will experience increasing attrition due to biosimilar competition. The EU market has taken the brunt of biosimilar erosion, with earlier launches and more acceptance compared to other countries. Over time, biosimilar penetration is anticipated to gain more momentum as international real-world evidence builds, with long-term data supporting biosimilar efficacy and safety. This should allow physicians and patients to grow their confidence and familiarity with biosimilars and encourage uptake.
Nevertheless, as the RA caseload enlarges and several pipeline drugs launch, this will provide impetus for market growth. The analyst estimates that in 2018, there were 25.9 million prevalent cases of RA worldwide, and expects that number to increase to 28.6 million prevalent cases by 2027.
As multi-billion-dollar products, Humira and Enbrel represent the best-selling brands in the market, and their stronghold will continue. In the US, biosimilars will face challenges in usurping branded anti-TNF drugs, with adalimumab biosimilars not expected to enter until 2023, etanercept biosimilars held in patent litigation, substantial originator rebates, and exclusive contracting with payers.
Gilead’s Jyseleca is the latest addition to the oral JAK inhibitor class, following Rinvoq’s US launch in September 2019. AbbVie is positioning Rinvoq as a follow-on product from Humira. Rinvoq is supported by an extensive global pivotal trial program, and AbbVie has demonstrated its superiority in head-to-head trials with gold-standard Humira. AbbVie’s experience and presence in the RA market will foster success for the drug, despite its third-to-market status.
Although the JAK inhibitors are differentiated by their convenient oral administration, the class has been associated with venous thromboembolic event (VTE) concerns, and this stigma may fuel hesitancies towards using these products. Despite AbbVie releasing data showing that the rate of VTEs associated with Rinvoq treatment was in line with the background rate for RA patients, the FDA included a black box warning for the safety issue. Furthermore, the drugs are premium-priced, and the entry of generic tofacitinib will not only erode market share from Xeljanz, but also from Olumiant, Rinvoq, and Jyseleca.

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