Global Asthma Market to Hit $18 Billion by 2021

Pharma IQ News

Anticipation surrounds emergence of a new wave of biologic therapies

The lucrative market for asthma drugs is set to hit $18 billion by 2021, according to new research from pharmaceutical analyst firm, Datamonitor Healthcare.

With six products forecast to launch, the firm estimates the asthma market will grow at a rate of 1.4% by 2021. Two key marketed drugs, Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol; GlaxoSmithKline) and Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol; AstraZeneca), will face erosion of sales due to the arrival of Breo (fluticasone/vilanterol) from GlaxoSmithKline and generics emerging from the pipeline.

Biologics will counteract the genericisation of the market and help to maintain its value. Datamonitor Healthcare predicts that pipeline biologics for asthma have the potential to generate approximately $2.7bn in sales by 2021.

Natasha Spiller, analyst at Datamonitor Healthcare said: “Severe asthma remains a significant cause of mortality and morbidity and a portion of patients remain inadequately treated, despite the use of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta 2 agonists.

“Late-stage pipeline biologics will be positioned to treat this patient population. However, commercial opportunities may ultimately be restricted by the size of the target population and the high cost of manufacturing, which will impact the pricing and reimbursement of biologics in asthma.”

In the near future, anticipation surrounds the entry of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva (tiotropium) to the asthma market. Spiriva is a widely used long-acting muscarinic antagonist that is already approved for maintenance treatment in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Currently the therapy is undergoing regulatory review for asthma in the EU.

Spiller continued: “Thus far Spiriva’s clinical development program in asthma has yielded strong clinical data to support its uptake in patients with symptomatic asthma, provided it gains regulatory approval for indication expansion in the US and EU.

“Datamonitor Healthcare forecasts Spiriva could generate an additional $250m in sales for asthma by 2021.”

All forecasts refer to the US, Japan, and five major EU markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK).