Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics Market – Offering Long-term Disease Management
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. The disease leads in malfunction of the nervous system to communicate, which in turn causes several signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and psychiatric problems. Double vision, blindness in one eye, muscle weakness, trouble with sensation, or trouble with coordination are some of the other symptoms. The types of MS include relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and secondary progressive MS (SPMS). RPMS is the most common type characterized by defined attacks with increasing neurological symptoms, PPMS is the rare form characterized by gradual progression of disease, whereas SPMS is commonly identified in people living with relapsed-remitting MS. The most common symptoms of the disease include partial or complete vision loss, prolonged vision loss, lack of coordination, and slurred speech.
A combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible for the occurrence of the condition. According to a study by International Progressive Alliance, 2013, MS is two to three times more common in women than in men, suggesting that hormones play a significant role in determining susceptibility to the disease.
The global multiple sclerosis therapeutics market was valued at US$ 19.6 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 2.5% over the forecast period (2017 - 2025).
Figure 1. Global Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics Market (US$ Mn), by Region, 2016
Increasing prevalence of multiple sclerosis to augment market growth
Multiple sclerosis is a widespread disabling neurological condition, mostly diagnosed in people in the age group 20–50 years. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, 2017, this autoimmune condition affects 2.5 million people with the global incidence of around 7 cases per 100,000 people per year. The study also states that prevalence rates varies between ethnic and geographical latitudes, ranging from 50 to 120 people per 100,000 population. North America dominates the multiple sclerosis therapeutics market owing to the high prevalence of the condition and the rising economic burden of the disease leading to the adoption of novel therapeutics. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, 2015, an estimated 400,000 people live with the disease in U.S., and about 200 new cases are diagnosed every week. According to a survey by Healthline Media, 2015, multiple sclerosis ranks second after congestive heart failure with direct and indirect health care costs ranging from US$ 8,528 to US$ 54,244 per patient per year. Higher therapy cost is restraining the growth of the multiple sclerosis therapeutics market.
Intensive R&D programs undertaken by organizations to accelerate the market growth
Various organizations such as National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National MS Society, Parkinson’s Action Network are undertaking extensive efforts to create novel therapies for MS, contributing to be a vital factor driving the growth of global multiple sclerosis therapeutics market. For instance, the scientists at Multiple Sclerosis International Federation are undertaking research to understand, manage and treat the disease and are currently undertaking clinical trials to investigate the potential of stem cell therapies including mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs), hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs). Also, in 2013, the Progressive MS Alliance was established to specifically research and develop more treatment options for people with the progressive forms of MS which currently has a total of 20 projects with researchers based in nine countries. Additionally, in 2015, the MS Society of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Health Research funded a new research to the University of Alberta to examine novel therapeutic strategy to reduce inflammation in the brain, a key factor contributing to the muscle disability associated with multiple sclerosis.
The major players operating in the global multiple sclerosis therapeutics market include Novartis AG, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Sanofi S.A., Bayer AG, Pfizer, Inc., Biogen Idec, Merck & Co., Inc., and AbbVie, Inc.
The multiple sclerosis therapeutic agents are intended to promote neurorepair and neuroprotection to prevent disease progression. The disease modifying therapeutics are currently under clinical development to specifically target the disease while avoiding frequent therapeutic administrations. A variety of corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and monoclonal antibodies are approved and recommended to reduce inflammation in multiple sclerosis. The complex nature of disease with its unique individual patient course renders variable clinical outcomes in different patients. Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, the currently available therapeutics modify the disease course, accelerate recovery from attacks, and help in managing symptoms.
The major factors driving growth of the multiple sclerosis therapeutics market include rise in research and development ultimately leading to the launch of novel drug candidates and the rising prevalence of the condition in children. For instance, in 2014, Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) manufactured by Biogen, a disease modifying therapy was approved for the long-term treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. According to Multiple Sclerosis Society, approximately five to ten per cent of people with MS experienced their first symptoms before the age of 16. However, the inability of drugs to prevent disease progression and disability, side effects of the approved drugs such as increased risk of infections, flu-like symptoms and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a viral disease of the brain are the factors hindering market growth.
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