Neurologists are very familiar with Biogen’s newly approved Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab – the brand name Aduhelm – but few have prescribed it so far, a real-time marketing study of the drug found. launch of the brand.
Although this is the very first disease-modifying treatment to be marketed to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, very few specialists surveyed between June 30 and July 6 said they were considering the aducanumab as a “substantial breakthrough” in treatment, according to market research company Spherix. The first patients received Aduhelm in mid-June, and only 3% of neurologists said they prescribed the monoclonal antibody as a monthly infusion to their patients, a study report from Fierce Pharma noted.
Respondents estimated that only 1 in 7 patients would be considered a candidate for Aduhelm, a monoclonal antibody administered by infusion. A subsequent label review by Biogen that recommends treatment only for patients with mild dementia could lower that estimate further, Spherix said.
There is pent-up demand from patients, Spherix added, but Aduhelm will likely continue to be slow to find prescribers, the company concluded. Less than half of the neurologists surveyed predicted that they would become adopters within the first six months of availability. Long-term care physicians, meanwhile, have recommended that the drug not be prescribed to residents of nursing homes until it is tested in a representative group of this population.
Despite a controversial rollout, which left many in doubt about the clinical trial evidence and uncertain of the Food and Drug Administration’s role in approval, more manufacturers of monoclonal antibody drugs for Alzheimer’s disease are expected to follow Aduhelm’s path in seeking federal approval for use. Eli Lilly’s donanemab – recently designated as a breakthrough – and Genentech’s gantenerumab could be approved as the second and third modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease within two years, Spherix reported.
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