The first disease-modifying drugs are expected to launch from 2013, radically changing the way Alzheimer’s disease is treated. With the potential to successfully slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s, blockbuster revenues are beckoning for such pipeline drugs, claims independent market analyst, Datamonitor*.
Daniel Chancellor, healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, comments: “The current management of Alzheimer’s disease is wholly inadequate, providing only symptomatic benefit to the estimated 6.6 million patients** in whom the underlying neurodegeneration continues unabated”.
“However, the majority of pipeline drugs are now targeted against the underlying Alzheimer’s disease pathology. The launch of these drugs will coincide with the promise of earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease via biomarker tests, bringing about a fundamental change in the way Alzheimer’s disease is treated by facilitating an earlier and more effective intervention.”
Best positioned to revolutionize the way in which Alzheimer’s disease is treated are drugs from the beta-amyloid class, although demonstration of clinical efficacy beyond an effect on biomarker concentrations remains a significant obstacle that must be overcome.
Datamonitor predicts that as a result, Alzheimer’s disease sales will more than double over the next decade, from $4.7bn in 2009 to $11.9bn in 2019. Growth will be driven by an ever-increasing elderly population, the launch of these disease-modifying adjunctive therapies and vastly improved diagnostic tools.
Daniel adds: “The current late-stage pipeline will yield three blockbusters, assuming that sufficient evidence emerges for the drugs’ clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability in their respective pivotal Phase III trials. This is by no means guaranteed, considering the high risk of failure in Phase III Alzheimer’s disease trials.”
Elan/Johnson & Johnson/Pfizer’s bapineuzumab and Eli Lilly’s LY2062430 (solanezumab) have the most commercial and clinical potential. Bapineuzumab will benefit from the commercial backing of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer and already established clinical efficacy in a patient subpopulation, while solanezumab will enjoy a significantly larger target population and may possess a better tolerability profile.
“Both drugs are forecast to achieve seven major market sales in excess of $2.5bn by 2019. Gammagard (immune globulin intravenous; Baxter) also possesses blockbuster potential with peak sales of $1.2bn,” concludes Daniel.
* Pipeline and Commercial Insight: Alzheimer’s Disease
** In the seven major markets of US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK