Market for CNS Biomarkers Predicted to Grow to $3.2 Billion by 2015

Pharma IQ

Biomarkers are now being used by a large number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry - and one of the key therapeutic areas where they are utilised is in CNS drug development, where disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy are currently a major focus.

Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development Impact Report, entitled Personalized Medicine is Playing a Growing Role in Development Pipelines, found that 100 percent of biopharmaceutical companies surveyed are using personalised medicine approaches, such biomarkers to evaluate compounds in the discovery stage. Biomarkers are also being increasingly used in clinical development to better understand patient response. In early clinical research close to 50 percent and in late clinical development about 30 percent currently use biomarkers.

This assertion is backed up by a recent report from Reportlinker, entitled Central Nervous System (CNS) Biomarkers: Technologies and Global Markets, which found that the growth rate for CNS drug development will increase "as more validated biomarkers become available for patient segmentation and assessment of efficacy for clinical trials".

According to the report, the global CNS biomarker market is expected to grow from an estimated $1.3 billion in 2009 to close to $3.2 billion by 2015, bucking the trend in the wider CNS market landscape.

The Business Insights report, entitled CNS Market Outlook to 2014, published earlier this year, predicted a decline in the compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent of the market until 2014. This is mainly due to generic pressure on the market, with patent expirations of key brands such as Seroquel and Zyprexa.

Essential to the restoration of growth of the CNS market was said to be the development of new, novel therapies. According to the report: "a large number of established CNS players are aggressively engaged in acquiring novel, clinically differentiated CNS products".

The possibility of discovering a treatment for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) took a leap forward recently with the discovery of a biomarker in a study funded by the MND Association, in collaboration with the medical research council. 

Clinical trials within the field of MND are currently being hampered in the variation of the disease among different patients; the discovery of a biomarker would "improve the way future treatments are assessed."

The study, published in Neurology, is part of ongoing work in the field being carried out by Oxford University. 

Dr. Martin Turner, from the institution, said: "It builds on a decade of international work, and shows that MRI is now a frontrunner in the quest to generate biomarkers of disease activity in MND.