Physician Views: Can Biogen Idec gatecrash the haemophilia A market?

July 23, 2014
Ref: Physician Views Desk

The $6 billion global haemophilia market is expected to undergo notable evolution over the next decade, with a key trend being the approval and launch of long-acting recombinant factor (rF) VIII (haemophilia A) and rF IX (haemophilia B) products that can be dosed less frequently – and which are expected to accelerate prophylactic usage.

Notably, a new entrant in the haemophilia space – Biogen Idec – has kick-started this period of transition, via the recent US approval and launch of Eloctate and Alprolix, which compete in the haemophilia A and B segments, respectively.

Recently launched in the US market, Eloctate is the newer product and also the largest in terms of forecast commercial opportunity.

With a recommended starting prophylaxis dose of 50 IU/kg every four days, which can be adjusted in the range of 25 to 65 IU/kg for administration every three to five days, Biogen Idec hopes to drive home the advantage of less frequent dosing. By comparison, currently available rF VIII therapies are typically administered every other day, although Baxter has promoted pharmacokinetic dosing of its market-leading Advate brand, which extends the dosing schedule to every three days.

Nevertheless, with FDA labelling for Biogen Idec's drug supporting a potential dosing advantage over existing recombinant factor rF VIII products – and with the company choosing to price Eloctate comparably to established brands – it remains to be seen how effectively incumbent players such as Baxter, Bayer, CSL, Novo Nordisk and Pfizer can defend market share. Baxter is expected to deliver the second long-acting rF VIII brand (BAX855) to market within the next 12 to 18 months.

With Eloctate representing the first available long-acting recombinant factor VIII, FirstWord is polling physicians to ascertain how its launch will impact the broader market. Specifically we are asking US and EU5-based haematologists...

How they assess the dosing advantage provided by Eloctate versus existing therapies?

What percentage of patients treated with Advate they estimate are currently using a once-every three days (or longer) dosing schedule?

What percentage of haemophilia A patients (both paediatric and adult) who are currently treated on an 'on-demand' basis they expect to switch to Eloctate within 12 to 18 months post-launch?

What percentage of haemophilia A patients (both paediatric and adult) who are currently treated on a prophylactic basis they expect to switch to Eloctate within 12 to 18 months post-launch?

On average, how many times per year they meet-face-to-face with one of their typical haemophilia patients?

You will be able to read the results and analysis on Thursday.

Results and related analysis will be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read, with the opportunity for non-FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to purchase these findings. To be notified when poll results and analysis become available, please click here.

As always, FirstWord would very much like to receive your feedback and suggestions.

Note: FirstWord Polls are powered by MedePolls, a fast-turnaround service to conduct instant polls of up to five questions with guaranteed samples that include physicians from dozens of specialities and over 100 markets. To conduct this poll with a different audience, or an entirely different poll, contact us at