The number of cases within 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%.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive form of lung disease characterised by fibrosis of the supporting framework (interstitium) of the lungs. By definition, the term is used only when the cause of the pulmonary fibrosis is unknown.
Microscopically, lung tissue from patients shows a characteristic set of histologic/pathologic features known as usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). UIP is therefore the pathologic counterpart of IPF.
Being a rare disease, less attention has been given to IPF by many pharmaceutical companies. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in the US estimated that National Institute of Health (NIH) spending on IPF research in the US was $23 million in 2008.
This amount is very low compared to the $85 million spent on cystic fibrosis, a disease that is five to six times less common than IPF, and $48 million on Lou Gehrig's disease, another disease that is five times less common than IPF.
With 200,000 patients in the US and Europe and over 5,000,000 world wide and no approved therapy, IPF represents a huge un-met medical need.
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.
For more information on the IPF therapeutics industry, see the latest research: IPF Therapeutics Industry
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