The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis market has been forecast to decline at a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -5.7% over the next six years, decreasing from a valuation of $112 million in 2011, to hit a market value of $70 million by 2019.
Reasons for the decline in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis market include the fact that treatment options are currently limited to Rilutek (riluzole) and off-label medications that offer symptomatic relief. With Rilutek the only approved drug, there is considerable unmet need in this market.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a debilitating disease with varied etiology characterised by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, muscle spasticity, difficulty speaking (dysarthria), difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and difficulty breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's or Charcot disease, accounts for around 80% of all motor neuron cases worldwide. Patient numbers are set to rise, due to the growing elderly population and increasing disease awareness.
As the manufacturer of Rilutek, Sanofi has had a stronghold in the ALS market for over a decade now. Pipeline products, such as ALS-02 (2015), won't enter the market for another few years, if at all.
Companies competing in the ALS market, including Biogen, Avicena, Mitsubishi Tanabe, and Sanofi, are all following the same strategy: to collaborate with or acquire smaller companies that have a well-established history of R&D in developing drugs for rare diseases.
The unmet need for ALS treatments with a novel mechanism of action, which can alter disease progression, remains high. There are few late-stage therapies in the pipeline: potential launches to 2019 include, Avicena's ALS-02 (2015) and Mitsubishi Tanabe's Radicut (edaravone) (Japan only, 2013).
Although these products will expand the market, it's believed that they will not transform the treatment paradigm, as they will be mainly used as add-on treatments to Rilutek.
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