Macular Degeneration - Drug Pipeline Analysis and Market Forecasts to 2016

18 May 2010 • by Natalie Aster

GlobalData, the industry analysis specialist, has released its new report, “Macular Degeneration - Drug Pipeline Analysis and Market Forecasts to 2016”. The report is an essential source of information and analysis on the global macular degeneration market. The report identifies the key trends shaping and driving the global macular degeneration market. The report also provides an insight on the prevalent competitive landscape and the emerging players expected to change the market positioning of the existing market leaders. Most importantly, the report provides a valuable insight on the pipeline products within the global macular degeneration sector.

Macular Degeneration therapeutics Market is Forecast to Show High Growth Rate, Doubling in Size by 2016

GlobalData valued the global macular degeneration market at $1,054m in 2009. It is expected to grow to $2,090m with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% by 2016. This growth is primarily attributed to the increase in aged population across the world. Macular degeneration is a common disease that affects the people above 50 years. Incidence is high in the patients who are above 70 years. The growth will be supported by the increased competition between the traditionally used off label products and the newly approved drugs and is expected to continue in the future. In 2009, Lucentis, a block buster drug of Genentech, was the leading player in the global macular degeneration market. Avastin is one of the block buster drugs of Genentech approved for various types of cancer. Avastin is widely used as off-labeled drug by the patients with macular degeneration before the approval of Lucentis.

Competition in the Macular Degeneration Market is Expected to Intensify

The leading companies in the global macular degeneration market are Genentech, Osi Eyetech Inc., and QLT Ltd. Together these companies accounted for more than 95% of the global macular degeneration market in 2009. Genentech with its blockbuster drug Lucentis was the market leader with a share of more than 90% followed by Visudyne. However, companies such as Alcon Inc., Novartis AG, BioInvent International AB, MacuSight, Inc., Ophthotech Corporation, Acucela Inc., Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Pfizer Inc., pSivida Corporation, Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Targa Therapeutics Corp., and Tracon Pharma Inc. have the most technologically advanced products in their pipeline portfolios and are expected to attract most of the investor’s attention. The global macular degeneration market has seen some intense competition in recent times, which is expected to further intensify in the coming years.

The Current Competition is Strong Due to the Presence of Products with High Efficacy Profile

GlobalData found that the current competition in the macular degeneration market is strong and is dominated by VEGF targetor (Lucentis) products. Products in the market have different efficacy and safety profiles. This would help the market to increase the competition. In addition, the presence of many promising drugs such as Retaane, Zinthionein, and Photrex and other first-in-class drugs in the advanced stages of clinical development, indicates increased competition in the future, once these products are successfully launched to the market. Visudyne was the first FDA approved drug for wet AMD in 2000. In the second half of 2006, the FDA approved Lucentis, a VEGF-A inhibitor for wet AMD patients. Macugen, a VEGF antagonist was also approved in December 2004, by the FDA for patients with wet AMD. Therefore, the current competition in the macular degeneration market is strong and the available treatment options have proven to be efficacious and fairly successful in meeting the market demand. The products currently available in the market have disease modifying properties and show relief from disease associated symptoms. Symptomatic relief for the patient varies according to the dosage and drug type. The current macular degeneration market is projected to increase its revenues to $2,090m by 2016. This increase in macular degeneration market is primarily driven by the block buster drug Lucentis, regardless of its static growth rate of nearly 6.8% till 2016.

First-In-Class Pipeline Candidates Raise Hope for Macular Degeneration Treatment

GlobalData’s analysis shows that the macular degeneration therapeutics pipeline is strong and contains 114 molecules. A majority of molecules are first-in-class and are in various phases of clinical development. These first-in-class molecules have distinct advantages over the currently marketed products in terms of overall survival rates and better efficacy and safety profiles, and have the potential to satisfy the market’s unmet needs. If approved, these products will stimulate intense competition in the market, and the existing market leaders will need to respond quickly in the race to develop a new blockbuster drug. GlobalData found that 114 therapies were in different developmental stages in 2009. More than 68% of the pipeline drugs are first-in-class and the rest are me-too’s and combination therapies. However, the prevailing market landscape remains dominated by a small number of market players which moderately fulfill the unmet needs that exist in the market. Some products, currently under clinical investigations, are expected to receive approval from regulatory agencies’ in the next few years. However, the majority of these products varies from the existing products class and will offer more improvements in terms of safety and efficacy. This would make the existing market leaders face significant challenges to their market shares. Essentially, the global macular degeneration market is heading towards an increasingly competitive landscape with more dynamism expected.

Strong Pipeline Candidates are Expected to Intensify Future Competition

GlobalData found that there were 114 products in different stages of clinical development in 2009. Photrex and Retaane have completed Phase III clinical studies and are waiting for FDA approval. There are many other products in Phase III such as AL-8309B, alprostadil, zinthionein, VEGF trap eye, microplasmin and combination therapies such as ranibizumab plus verteporfin and BA-LVR plus ST-LVR. The main mechanism of action in the macular degeneration pipeline is the mechanism of, VEGF tagetors. The majority of the pipeline products differ from the marketed ones in terms of addressing the unmet clinical needs. The pipeline products are being developed to have improved features such as reduced risks associated with intake, better efficacy regardless of the degree and length of illness, the ability to slow down the progression of the disease, and reduced side effects. If successfully launched, these products are expected to meet patients’ expectations. Their launch may also lead to increased competition in the market.

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