Most Payers Expect to Manage New MS Drug Ponvory to Label

Although there are more than 20 FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis (MS), companies continue to bring new products to market. Zitter Insights found that the majority of payers expect to manage the newest entrant, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson’s Ponvory (ponesimod), to label.

On March 19, the FDA approved Ponvory to treat adults with relapsing forms of MS, including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease and active secondary progressive disease. The approval was based in part on the Phase III OPTIMUM study, which showed the product reduced annual relapses by 30.5%, compared with Sanofi’s Aubagio (teriflunomide). It also reduced brain lesions by more than 50%.

The sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator joins other oral agents within that class: Gilenya (fingolimod) and Mayzent (siponimod), both from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., and Bristol Myers Squibb’s Zeposia (ozanimod).

Angela Maas

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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