The global market for scleroderma diagnostics and therapeutics features a fragmented marketplace owing to the presence of several pharmaceutical companies market with different drugs for the multiple complex symptoms experienced by a scleroderma patient, observes Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a recent report.
Some of the leading international pharmaceutical companies have products in clinical trial phases for treatment of systemic sclerosis symptoms. The relatively lower number of these companies has made competitive rivalry in the niche scleroderma diagnostics and therapeutics market low to moderate. The need for expertise in the field of rare diseases has made the scleroderma diagnostics and therapeutics difficult for new players to enter. Strategic collaborations and attempts to expand business across key regional markets are some of the most popular strategies undertaken by these players.
Pfizer, Inc., for instance, has entered into multiple agreements in 2015 such as the acquisition of AM Pharma, Baxter portfolio of marketed vaccines, collaborations with OPKO Health, Merck KGaA, and various investments in ViiV Healthcare Limited and Hisun Pharmaceuticals.
In terms of drug category, the segment of immunosuppressive agents is expected to retain dominance over the forecast period. In terms of geography, developed regions such as North America and Europe take the lead.
TMR estimates that the global scleroderma diagnostics and therapeutics market will expand at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2016 to 2024 and rise from US$1,633.5 mn in 2015 to US$3,663.7 mn by 2024.
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High Unmet Medical Needs Propel Growth
The scleroderma therapeutics market is driven by factors such as rise in clinical trials for systemic sclerosis, high acceptance of new therapies by patients, and new drug approvals for conditions such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, a significant symptom for certain systemic scleroderma patients. The high unmet medical needs owing to the nonexistence of adequate therapies for scleroderma is also a highly favorable opportunity that can be encashed by developing innovative treatment methods and drug classes for the condition.
Rising focus on undertaking awareness-raising initiatives is also expected to augment growth of the market in emerging economies such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, the relatively underdeveloped nature and the vast unmet needs across which present vast growth opportunities for market players to strengthen their foothold. A recent instance is the observance of an education/information day in June 2016 by Scleroderma Singapore and Scleroderma Australia as well as by certain Indian hospitals and support groups to promote better awareness regarding the disease.
High Cost of Treatment and Drugs to Impede Growth
Orphan drugs are usually premium-priced and the high cost of certain new launches is likely to remain one of the most impactful obstacles for the growth of the scleroderma diagnostics market in price-sensitive regions such as Asia Pacific and Africa. It is estimated that the per year treatment cost of a single systemic sclerosis patient suffering from pulmonary hypertension falls in the bracket of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with high disposable incomes, the favorable reimbursement structure in developed regions make these treatment costs for patients in regions such as Europe and North America more affordable than in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Africa.
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