KOL Views: Early look at prospects for BTK inhibitors like Sanofi’s SAR442168 in MS

Sanofi went all-in on SAR442168 last week by unveiling plans to begin four Phase III trials to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). The French drugmaker was unusually outspoken about what it sees as the compound’s “transformational” potential based on a Phase IIb trial, though questions will be asked both because the data have not been disclosed and the glut of competition – including a more advanced BTK inhibitor – that it is facing.

To provide FirstWord readers with rapid feedback on the prospects in MS for BTK inhibitors in general and SAR442168 more specifically, we are hosting an expert call with a key opinion leader (KOL) later this week.

Key topics that will be discussed during the call include, among other things… reaction to Sanofi’s top-line Phase IIb readout in which SAR442168 reduced new active gadolinium-enhancing T1 brain lesions after 12 weeks; how optimistic are you about the potential for BTK inhibitors in MS; are there any features that distinguish SAR442168 from Merck KGaA’s evobrutinib; how intrigued are you by SAR442168’s brain penetrance, which Sanofi has talked up; based on early data and what is known about the mechanism, are other B-cell depleting MS drugs like Roche’s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and rituximab likely to be the biggest competition; are there drawbacks to the approved B-cell depleting drugs that BTK inhibitors could potentially improve upon; initial data have been relatively clean on tolerability, especially for SAR442168, but how optimistic are you that safety could be an important selling point for the BTK class; is there any reason to think BTK inhibitors might be particularly useful for less crowded MS settings like primary- and/or secondary-progressive patients; would you expect that other companies with BTK inhibitors – there are at least three on the market for oncology indications – will test their agents in MS and is this likely to mean additional competition for Sanofi and Merck KGaA?

Ask the expert!

Furthermore, we invite FirstWord Pharma readers to submit their own questions for consideration. Please click here to do so. We can't guarantee that all questions submitted will be asked due to time constraints, but we will do our utmost to cover the important issues relating to the potential for BTK inhibitors in MS.

We endeavour to provide feedback from KOLs as quickly as possible. Interview content will be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read. To be notified when the interview content is available please click here.

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As always, FirstWord would very much like to receive your feedback and suggestions.

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