Retinal Pharma Market Continues to Climb; Competition Looms

November 23, 2016: By Peter Downs

The global market for retinal pharmaceuticals will reach $10.3 billion in 2021, according to the latest Market Scope forecast, despite price competition between major products and price cuts outside the US. The market stands at $9.2 billion in 2016.

A decade after the introduction of broad inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), the retinal pharmaceuticals market is the largest segment in ophthalmology. Ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin) long dominated the market, but Novartis is cutting the price of ranibizumab outside the US in response to the collapse of its market share in the face of strong competition from a newer biologic, aflibercept (Eylea).

Today, VEGF-inhibition therapy is the gold standard for the treatment of wet AMD, diabetic macular edema (DME), and macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). While the dominance of the anti-VEGF trio Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea appears stable, new therapeutic products likely to enter the market in the next five years have the potential to disrupt that stability, make treatments more affordable for more people, and reduce overall market revenues. The future of the market is being shaped by the following trends:

The Gold Rush: The race is on to get biological products similar to Avastin and Lucentis (biosimilars) ready for major markets when patents on the blockbuster biologics expire in 2019 and 2020, respectively, in the US and some other markets. At least 12 companies are working on such products.

Market Calving:
Lucentis demonstrated that there were billions of dollars to be made on providing therapeutics for retinal disease, but the days when ophthalmologists and patients have only one approved therapy are over. The competitive field now includes both copies of Lucentis and alternative anti-VEGF products.

The quest for longer action: Doctors and patients consider longer duration of action as an advantage. Thus, a major thrust of new product development is to reduce the burden of monthly injections with longer-acting products that require less frequent trips to the doctor. These new products could be more disruptive of the industry than biosimilars.

Boosters: New products that boost the effectiveness of anti-VEGF therapy are headed toward the market, including an IVT injection, eye drops, and a subdermal injection.
Cost Cutting: Containing overall health care costs has become a major goal in every country and income group.

Opening new disease markets: VEGF-inhibition dramatically improved the prospects for patients with neovascularization (such as wet AMD) or macular edema, but there are other retinal diseases for which no therapy is available. Therapies targeting any of those other diseases would bring relief to many more people and open up new markets and sources of revenues. At least two therapeutic candidates for geographic atrophy, which currently is untreatable, are advancing in Phase III clinical trials. Additionally, an application for marketing approval of the first gene therapy for an inherited retinopathy was made to the US FDA in 2016.

Market Scope’s forecast takes an in-depth look at these issues and more, including products in development pipelines that have the potential to achieve market authorization within the next five years.

Market Scope is pleased to announce the availability of its “2016 Retinal Pharmaceuticals and Biologics Report: A Global Market Analysis for 2015 to 2021.” The report is in its seventh edition. Click the following link: 2016 Retinal Pharmaceuticals and Biologics Report to view a detailed description and table of contents for this report or call (314) 835-0600 for more information.

Retina Pharma Press Release 2016 Picture

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