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Prescribing habits shift noted in IBD

Words by GOLD newsdesk

Doctors treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the US are increasingly selecting biologic or small molecule therapies rather than Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) inhibitors, according to a report by healthcare data consultancy Spherix Global Insights.

TNF inhibitors have been the standard of care for conditions such as ulcerative colitis (UC) patients and Crohn’s disease (CD) for the last three decades, but alternative mechanisms of action are becoming increasingly popular. Some 60% of UC patients and 55% of CD patients have been treated with a biologic or small molecule as their first-line advanced systemic therapy, in 2022 to date.

A key therapy driving this change in prescribing habits is Bristol Meyers Squibb’s Zeposia – a first-in-class S1P receptor modulator approved by the FDA in June 2022. In the report, Spherix said Zeposia “has made substantial inroads as a pre-biologic option, capturing a sizeable portion of first-line patients”.

Zeposia entered the market as a competitor to AbbVie’s Humira, which was approved by FDA in 2021 for UC, CD and other conditions. The “uptick in Zeposia most directly impacted AbbVie's Humira prescriptions”, the report clarifies.

Much of Zeposia’s popularity lies in the fact it can be taken orally. This is in contrast to Humira and TNF inhibitors, which must be injected by the patient or a healthcare professional. In the analysts’ view, oral therapies are direction in which the IBD market is travelling due to increased ease for patient administration as well as improved efficacy.

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