Market Overview

In the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Drug Market, Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline's Benlysta Will Be the Market Leader in 2021 With Sales of More Than $1.7 Billion


Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, in the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) drug market, Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline's Benlysta will be the market leader in 2021 with sales of more than $1.7 billion in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Benlysta's position as the first agent approved for SLE in over 50 years, its perceived favorable safety profile and the demonstration of efficacy in clinical trials will drive uptake of this agent.

The Pharmacor advisory service entitled Systemic Lupus Erythematosus also finds that the overall SLE market will grow dramatically, from approximately $691 million in 2011 to $3.9 billion in 2021. The SLE market will see the entry of several different B-cell inhibitors—including Eli Lilly's tabalumab, UCB/Immunomedics' epratuzumab and Anthera Pharmaceuticals' blisibimod—that will compete for market share and could ultimately occupy specific niches in SLE treatment, based on factors that include route of administration, onset of action and efficacy.

The findings also reveal that the T-cell modulator, ImmuPharma/SymBio Pharmaceuticals' forigerimod, is expected to launch in 2016 in the United States and in 2017 in most European countries for SLE and will compete for the same patients as these B-cell inhibitors. Through 2021, Decision Resources anticipates that forigerimod will be used most commonly in patients who have failed at least two B-cell targeted agents.

In 2011, the SLE market was largely generic and included significant off-label use. The off-label use of two high-priced agents—the biologic rituximab (Biogen Idec/Roche/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo's Rituxan, Roche's MabThera) and the immunosuppressant mycophenolate mofetil (Roche/Galenica's CellCept, generics)—generated the majority of sales in 2011.

“Rituximab will achieve peak-year sales of approximately $387 million in 2017,” said Decision Resources Analyst Laura Croal, Ph.D. “Its uptake will be driven primarily by its use for lupus nephritis and SLE manifestations that are refractory to current treatments. In 2021, the B-cell modulators will account for more than three-quarters of SLE sales.”

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Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597

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