Oral pain meds overtake injectable therapies as preferred treatment for multiple sclerosis

May 8, 2015

Oral therapies are revolutionizing the treatment paradigm of multiple sclerosis (MS), offering enhanced dosing and patient compliance, according to new analysis. Frost & Sullivan’s A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics Market found that recent therapeutic advancements aim at improving the tolerability of existing products, specifically for interferon beta and glatiramer acetate. Developing anti-inflammatory medications has also been a key area of focus.

Oral therapies are revolutionizing the treatment paradigm of multiple sclerosis (MS), offering enhanced dosing and patient compliance, according to new analysis.

Frost & Sullivan’s A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics Market found that recent therapeutic advancements aim at improving the tolerability of existing products, specifically for interferon beta and glatiramer acetate. Developing anti-inflammatory medications has also been a key area of focus.

Related:FDA approves Copaxone for MS; problems persist

Vivekanandan“The United States MS market is entering a new phase of growth that is driven by the development of innovative therapeutic platforms,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Analyst Aish Vivekanandan. “Oral therapies are revolutionizing the treatment paradigm of MS by improving dosing and patient compliance. Biogen’s Tecfidera, in particular, has been a game changer in the US MS market, stealing shares from older therapies.”

Physicians prefer Avonex, Betaferon, Copaxone, Rebif, or ABCRs, as first-line therapy because of the 10 years of clinical data establishing their efficacy and safety, according to the analysis.

“The existing interferon therapies-Avonex, Rebif, Betaseron/Extavia, and Plegridy, along with novel therapies such as Copaxone, Tysabri, Novantrone, Gilenya, and Tecfidera-have helped build a patient base in a market that has a very high degree of unmet medical needs,” added Vivekanandan.

Recent therapeutics advances focus on a few factors, according to Vivekanandan:

  • Improving tolerability of existing products specifically for interferon beta and glatiramer acetate

  • Development of anti-inflammatory medications

  • More clinical studies done investigating treatments in progressive MS

  • Many clinical studies now include effects of Vitamin D in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)

RRMS is the most common form of MS particularly in the United States and Europe, and garners immense attention from drug manufacturers. Although, therapeutic drug development in the primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) segment leaves a lot to be desired, according to the analysis.

Related:New drug approved by FDA for the treatment of relapsing MS

Drug manufacturers are now investing in R&D to achieve a greater understanding of PPMS disease pathology and reach this untapped market. Clinical studies researching the treatment of progressive MS and investigating the effects of vitamin D in relapsing MS are also under way.

“Newer treatments have the potential to treat refractory MS patients as well as patients suffering from PPMS,” she said.

Many pharmaceutical companies are gradually realizing the importance of long-term clinical studies for drugs, noted Vivekanandan. “This awareness could spur pharmaceuticals to develop low-risk drugs for the treatment of MS and build a patient base in a market with huge unmet medical needs.”

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