‘Gigantic attraction’ expected in arthritis therapeutics

 The arthritis therapeutics market is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years, a new report predicts.

Research found that arthritis therapeutics are becoming a “gigantic attraction” for pharmaceutical companies as the condition continues to be one of the most common causes of disabilities.

Rising incidence rates of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis are expected to see revenues reach $35.8 billion by 2018.

Several major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have already shown an interest in obtaining market share and have made investments in the potentially lucrative industry.

Pfizer, Amgen, Merck, Roche and Novartis, the report found, have increased R&D efforts in the field with several promising therapies in late-stage development.

The current pipeline includes many small molecule drugs and biologic therapies, as well as novel oral Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).

Biologics, the report predicts, will feature heavily as the market expands and drive growth during the coming years.

Existing market leaders are also expected to benefit from the predicted demand.

Amgen’s patent on blockbuster drug Enbrel was recently extended until 2028 by the FDA following a number of court proceedings. Other well-established brands have also had their protection protected.

However, the patents for Rituxan (rituximab), Remicade (infliximab), Celebrex (celecoxib) and Humira (adalimumab) will see a number of generic alternatives enter the market.

Despite cheaper therapeutic products being made available, the report estimates the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% for the next six years.