The Epilepsy Drug Market Will Increase $800 Million by 2016, Primarily Due to Uptake of Premium-Priced Third-Generation Antiepileptic Drugs (AEDs), Before Leveling Off Through 2021

Second-Generation AEDs Will Maintain Their Drug-Class-Leader Position Through 2021, as They Continue to Displace Older, First-Generation AEDs, According to Findings from Decision Resources

December 11, 2012-Burlington, Mass. –Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the epilepsy market will increase from $2.9 billion in 2011 to nearly $3.7 billion in 2016. The expanding number and growing uptake of third-generation antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), led by lacosamide (UCB’s Vimpat) and including other agents such as perampanel (Eisai’s Fycompa), eslicarbazepine acetate (Sunovion/Bial/Eisai’s Zebinix/Stedesa*) and ezogabine/retigabine (GlaxoSmithKline/Valeant’s Potiga/Trobalt), will be a major contributor to such growth.

The Pharmacor advisory service entitled Epilepsy also finds that the second-generation AED drug class will maintain its major-market sales-leader position through 2021. Second-generation agents, such as levetiracetam (UCB/Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Keppra/E Keppra, generics; UCB’s Keppra XR, generics) and lamotrigine (GlaxoSmithKline/Juste’s Lamictal, other brands, generics; GlaxoSmithKline’s Lamictal XR), continue to displace older, first-generation AEDs across the major-pharmaceutical markets. Notably, agents in this drug class will experience robust uptake in Japan, as many of these drugs have recently launched there, and the U.S. market will see the launch and uptake of extended-release formulations of select members of the drug class, such as SPN-804 (Supernus’s Oxtellar XR). At the same time, the use of third-generation AEDs will not supersede that of second-generation drugs, as the former typically experience a more gradual incorporation into the epilepsy treatment algorithm.

“After a five-year surge in launches of new AEDs, the late-stage epilepsy drug development pipeline is dwindling,” said Decision Resources Analyst Nadja Rozovsky, Ph.D. “We currently forecast the launch of only one new molecular entity, UCB’s brivaracetam, over the next decade.”

The greatest unmet need in epilepsy remains the inadequate control of seizures that occurs in 20 to 30 percent of drug-treated epilepsy patients, translating into a significant market opportunity. However, only advances in basic and translational research, some of which will likely be achieved during the forecast period, will eventually lead to the development of therapies that would have a significant impact on reducing the size of the treatment-refractory patient population.

*Stedesa is the brand name expected to be used for eslicarbazepine acetate upon regulatory approval in the United States.

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