The global market value of Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics could soar to the $8 billion range once therapeutics are approved that actually change the course of the disease, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). The current therapeutic market is valued at $3 to $4 billion, shared among drugs that temporarily delay disease progression or address the symptoms but do not alter the underlying disease, according to a recent issue of GEN.
“Despite all the research on amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles there is still a debate on whether these biological phenomena are causative or symptomatic of Alzheimer’s,” said John Sterling, Editor-in-Chief of GEN. “Once scientists can clearly and unequivocally define key factors related to the actual biology of the disease itself, therapeutic advances could take place much more quickly.”
More than 150 companies are working in the Alzheimer’s space, including approximately 15 multinationals and 30 generics companies. A number of these firms are taking innovative approaches to tackling this extremely debilitating disease. For example, the USPTO in March granted a patent for Antisenilin, developed by Intellect Neurosciences. This therapy, which targets either end of ß-amyloid, is in Phase III trials.
Baxter has a Phase III program under way for Gammagard, a naturally occurring plasma-derived immunoglobulin for moderate-stage AD patients. The trial runs until February 2013. Phase II results suggest Gammagard may positively affect brain atrophy and cognition. The compound already is approved for immunodeficiency diseases.
Other companies covered in the GEN article include AstraZeneca, Roche, TransTech Pharma, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Memory Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and Charles River Laboratories.