The number of cases in the global Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) market is expected to grow to 45,718 by 2022. Over the next decade from 2012 incidence rates are expected to stay stable, with only a slight increase registered year-on-year due to increased population rates. Despite the stable nature of the market, the IPF therapeutics market is expected to witness high growth between 2012 and 2017, growing at a CAGR of 87% .
Further research is a prerequisite to shine a light on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and offer therapeutic hope to these sufferers. With the approval of the initial IPF small molecule pharmaceutical this underserved market is set to change, allowing the better study of patients by extending survival time.
For the last decade the IPF therapeutic field has been untapped and dominated by the off-label drug N-acetylcysteine provided for symptomatic relief and costly supportive palliative care. However, new research suggests that InterMune's Esbriet (pirfenidone) – the sole therapeutic approved exclusively for the treatment of IPF – will work to slow the course of disease in IPF patients, if regulatory and financial barriers can be overcome. This may then allow for a closer epidemiological study of the disease, with patients able to survive longer periods of examination.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrosing, interstitial form of chronic pneumonia, defined by irreversible and variable scarring, stiffening, and thickening of the lung tissues, which ultimately results in progressive worsening of pulmonary function. Little is understood about the fatal disease; the first international consensus statement defining the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of IPF patients only published in 2000. IPF also has the worst prognosis of any type of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, with only three to five years of median survival. This poor survival rate, combined with IPF's low incidence rate, makes studying the epidemiology of the condition extremely difficult.
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