The multiple sclerosis therapeutic agents are intended to promote neurorepair and neuroprotection to prevent disease progression. The disease modifying therapeutics are currently under clinical development to specifically target the disease while avoiding frequent therapeutic administrations. A variety of corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and monoclonal antibodies are approved and recommended to reduce inflammation in multiple sclerosis.
The complex nature of disease with its unique individual patient course renders variable clinical outcomes in different patients. Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, the currently available therapeutics modify the disease course, accelerate recovery from attacks, and help in managing symptoms.
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The major factors driving growth of the multiple sclerosis therapeutics market include rise in research and development ultimately leading to the launch of novel drug candidates and the rising prevalence of the condition in children. For instance, in 2014, Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) manufactured by Biogen, a disease modifying therapy was approved for the long-term treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
According to Multiple Sclerosis Society, approximately five to ten per cent of people with MS experienced their first symptoms before the age of 16. However, the inability of drugs to prevent disease progression and disability, side effects of the approved drugs such as increased risk of infections, flu-like symptoms and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a viral disease of the brain are the factors hindering market growth.
Increasing prevalence of multiple sclerosis to augment market growth
Multiple sclerosis is a widespread disabling neurological condition, mostly diagnosed in people in the age group 20–50 years. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, 2017, this autoimmune condition affects 2.5 million people with the global incidence of around 7 cases per 100,000 people per year.
The study also states that prevalence rates varies between ethnic and geographical latitudes, ranging from 50 to 120 people per 100,000 population. North America dominates the multiple sclerosis therapeutics market owing to the high prevalence of the condition and the rising economic burden of the disease leading to the adoption of novel therapeutics. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, 2015, an estimated 400,000 people live with the disease in U.S., and about 200 new cases are diagnosed every week. According to a survey by Healthline Media, 2015, multiple sclerosis ranks second after congestive heart failure with direct and indirect health care costs ranging from US$ 8,528 to US$ 54,244 per patient per year. Higher therapy cost is restraining the growth of the multiple sclerosis therapeutics market.
The major players operating in the global multiple sclerosis therapeutics market include Novartis AG, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Sanofi S.A., Bayer AG, Pfizer, Inc., Biogen Idec, Merck & Co., Inc., and AbbVie, Inc.
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