Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the ulcerative colitis drug market will nearly double from $1.2 billion in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Through 2018, the primary drivers of market growth will be the uptake of Abbott/Eisai's Humira and Centocor Ortho Biotech/Merck/Mitsubishi Tanabe/Janssen's Simponi as well as an increase in the diagnosed prevalent population in the United States.
The Pharmacor 2010 findings from the topic entitled Ulcerative Colitis also show that interviewed experts indicate that significant opportunity remains for the development of more-effective maintenance therapies with sustained long-term efficacy, new agents that treat severe and refractory disease and new treatments that can compete with potent corticosteroids such as prednisone. Emerging therapies such as Humira and Simponi (both TNF-alpha inhibitors) could prove to be effective alternatives to currently available maintenance therapies for patients with moderate to severe disease. However, the high price of these emerging biologics is expected to limit their overall uptake in the market.
Patients with severe, treatment refractory ulcerative colitis requiring hospitalization are treated with intravenous corticosteroids, cyclosporine (Novartis's Sandimmune, generics), and/or Centocor Ortho Biotech/Merck/Mitsubishi Tanabe's Remicade.
"However, the short-term nature of corticosteroid treatment and the waning efficacy observed with immunosuppressants and TNF-alpha inhibitors highlight the shortcomings of marketed products for ulcerative colitis both in induction and maintenance regimens," said Decision Resources Analyst Kathryn Benton, B.S. "Additionally, although colectomy represents a curative treatment for the most severe forms of the disease for patients who do not respond to corticosteroids, cyclosporine or Remicade, many patients elect not to undergo surgery and seek more-effective alternatives to last-line pharmacological treatments."