The Market for Pain Therapies Will Grow at an Annual Rate of 1.8 Percent Over the Next 15 Years

Market Growth Will be Driven By the Launch of Pfizer’s Tanezumab and Johnson & Johnson/Takeda’s Fulranumab, According to Findings from Decision Resources

December 13, 2012-Burlington, Mass. –Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the market for pain therapies will grow at an annual rate of 1.8 percent over the next 15 years, surpassing $49 billion in sales in 2026. The loss of sales due to the generic entry of blockbuster pain therapies over the next several years will be offset by the uptake of branded and emerging agents in current drug classes such as tapentadol extended release (Johnson & Johnson/Grünenthal’s Nucynta ER/Palexia SR), orally inhaled dihydroergotamine (MAP Pharmaceuticals/Allergan’s Levadex) and opioid reformulations. Market growth will be driven primarily by the launch of the first biologic pain therapies, Pfizer’s tanezumab and Johnson & Johnson/Takeda’s fulranumab, beginning in 2016.

The Pharmacor report entitled Novel Approaches to Pain Therapy finds that sales of the anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) tanezumab and fulranumab will account for 19 percent of sales in the total pain market in 2026, approaching the market share of drug classes that currently earn the greatest share of the pain market—the opioid analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

“Despite safety concerns that will constrain the patient share of chronic pain patients receiving anti-NGF MAbs, the impressive efficacy, premium pricing and large target populations, which includes severe osteoarthritis pain, these agents will generate blockbuster sales surpassing $9 billion,” said Decision Resources Analyst John Crowley, Ph.D.

Decision Resources anticipates that novel subtype-selective ion channel modulators will enter the pain market beginning in 2018 and will account for nearly $1 billion in sales in 2026 across the seven major pain markets—the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.

“Thought leaders we interviewed are enthusiastic regarding the clinical potential of these agents, in particular those targeting Nav1.7 sodium channels,” said Decision Resources Analyst Alana Simorellis, Ph.D. “Teva/Xenon Pharmaceuticals’ XEN-402—a topical Nav1.7 antagonist—is likely to achieve significant uptake in peripheral neuropathic pain patients as an adjunct therapy to currently used oral medications such as antidepressants and antiepileptics, owing to a well-validated molecular target and minimal systemic exposure, which facilitates polypharmacy. Additionally, several other companies such as Pfizer and Convergence Pharmaceuticals are developing oral agents that selectively block promising ion channel targets, which we continue to follow with interest.”

The report also finds that opioid analgesics and NSAIDs will remain entrenched in the treatment algorithm for pain and comprise at least 45 percent of total sales in the pain market over the next 15 years. The major-market class sales of opioid analgesics, NSAIDs, antiepileptics and local anesthetics will remain stable over the forecast period, as emerging agents in these classes replace sales lost to the generic entry of current branded therapies.

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