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11 Oct 2013

Asthma Treatment Market: Sales and Prevalent Cases to Grow, but Causes of the Condition Remain Unknown

The global asthma treatment market is estimated to reach a value of $21.6 billion by 2019, due not only to the continuing growth of high prevalence rates, particularly among young children, but also the need for long-term maintenance therapy, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The new report* states that in 2013, the asthma market across the eight major countries (US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Japan) was estimated at $16.6 billion. This value will be boosted over the coming years by the growing number of people affected by the condition, which could reach 400 million by 2025.

By 2019, GBI Research estimates that the US will maintain its status as the major global market for asthma pharmaceuticals, with a share of $12.5 billion, followed by Japan and the UK at $3.2 billion and $2 billion, respectively.

The projected market forecast is based on the expected launch of seven new drugs between 2013 and 2015. The most notable of these is GSK’s Relvar, formerly known as Relovair, and successor to Advair. In September 2013, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved Relvar for use in bronchial asthma. This followed the European Medicines Agency issuing a positive opinion recommending marketing authorization for the drug.

Yasser Mushtaq, GBI Research’s Associate Analyst, says: “The once-daily Relvar is forecast to capture a significant market share within this treatment group, becoming another blockbuster drug within the respiratory market. Furthermore, the highly priced, novel IL-targeting biologics, if approved, will also contribute to growth, although these could still face limitations due to their restricted target populations.

If successful, these therapies could provide a useful alternative for patients with severe asthma, whose symptoms are poorly controlled by treatments such as ICS monotherapy, LABA/ICS combinations and leukotriene inhibitors.

However, the asthma market will be hit by the growth of generic drug sales, as well as by both recent patent expirations and patents due to expire over the next couple of years. Additionally, there are various unknowns about the condition, which have created difficulties for pharmaceutical companies hoping to develop therapies targeted at specific molecular types or clinical symptoms of the disease. 

“Despite the pathophysiology of asthma being well described, there remains a limited understanding of the specific interactions that occur between inflammatory cells and mediators that bring about specific clinical manifestations of the disease. Indeed, the exact cause or causes of the condition remain unknown, and are the subject of much ongoing research,” concludes Mushtaq.

*Asthma Therapeutics Market to 2019 — Breakthrough Biologics to Enhance Treatment of Severe Asthma and Drive Market Growth

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