Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's) - Drug Pipeline Analysis and Market Forecasts to 2016

25 Mar 2010 • by Natalie Aster
GlobalData, the industry analysis specialist, has released its latest research, “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's) - Drug Pipeline Analysis and Market Forecasts to 2016” which provides key data, information and analysis on the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) market. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the annualized market data from 2001 to 2009, and forecasts forward seven years to 2016. The research also includes market characterization, opportunities, the unmet needs associated with ALS, competitive assessment, product profiles of major marketed products and promising drugs in the pipeline, an overview on discontinued projects, implications for future market competition, and the key players of the ALS market.

The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Therapeutics Market is Forecast to Show Slow Growth to 2016

The global amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) therapeutics market was valued at $174m in 2009. It is expected to grow to $233m at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3% by 2016. This slow growth is attributed to the patent expiry of Rilutek in 2012 which is the only approved drug in the market for the treatment of ALS. The etiology is not known which poses significant challenges for prospective market entrants. The ageing population and the orphan drug status of the pipeline molecules will be the key drivers of this market.

Weak Market Served by One Approved Product for Treating ALS

GlobalData has analyzed the current market landscape and found it to be weak. There is only one FDA approved drug available in the market for the treatment of ALS. Although not a cure, Rilutek is the first and the only FDA approved drug which was approved in the US in 1995 and in 2001 in the EU. The exact mechanism of action of Rilutek in ALS is not known. However, it has an inhibitory effect on glutamate release. This antiglutamate drug has shown modest efficacy to prolong the life of patients with ALS by at least a few months. Clinical trial results demonstrated that the administration of Rilutek prolonged the survival of ALS patients by an average of 60-90 days. However, it has little or no effect on the progression of muscle weakness and on quality of life. Rilutek is manufactured by Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Based on the current market scenario, Rilutek has a monopoly in the market.

Poor Understanding of the Disease Leads to Low Diagnosis Rate

ALS is a progressive, paralyzing disease that is invariably fatal. The aetiology of ALS is poorly understood which poses a threat to any potential advances in the ALS market. As the cause of the disease is unknown, ALS is usually difficult to diagnose because it can appear to be a number of other neurological disorders, such as spinal cord tumors, multiple sclerosis, or nerve compression. This often leads to misdiagnosis of the disease. Physicians often experience a sense of helplessness and frustration in making an accurate diagnosis and in helping patients to cope with advancing disability and the prospect of death. There is a need to educate both the patients and the physicians.

A Lucrative Market with High Unmet Need

GlobalData finds that the global ALS market is a highly lucrative market with high unmet needs. The fact that the only product currently on the market does not serve the unmet needs of a larger therapeutic window, better efficacy and safety, and being suitable for a wider patient pool, results in the market presenting opportunities for stronger pipeline candidates. This historically static market offers huge potential for any drug maker whose drug can meet the unmet needs of the market. In addition, the orphan drug status of the pipeline molecules will result in the pharmaceutical companies investing in this highly lucrative market.


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