Datamonitor: Oral drugs set to dominate MS market by 2014

NEW YORK The market for multiple sclerosis drugs, long dominated by biologics and injectables, soon could see a shakeup, according to a new report by a market analysis firm.

Datamonitor said Wednesday that new orally administered MS drugs could end the long-standing dominance of drugs like Teva’s Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) and interferon betas, citing the approval in Russia of Movectro (cladribine), Merck KGaA’s orally administered drug for relapse-remitting MS. The Russian approval makes Movectro the world’s first approved oral disease-modifying MS drug.

Datamonitor said Novartis’ Gilenia (fingolimod) likely would become the first oral MS drug to win approval in the United States, having won backing by a panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers in June. And by 2014, oral drugs will probably become the leading therapies for MS, according to Datamonitor, with expected 2019 sales of $2.4 billion for Gilenia and $820 million for Movectro in seven major drug markets.

“Approval of Movectro in Russia is an important milestone for the MS market and will open the floodgates for other oral therapies,” Datamonitor healthcare analyst Trung Huynh said. “These new drugs will rapidly capture market share in this lucrative market and are set to be key growth drivers in the mid-term.”

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