MS Patients May Soon Benefit from a New Generation of Oral Drugs

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common chronic disabling disease of the nervous system. According to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, MS afflicts one in 700 people in the United States. MS is a relapsing, frequently progressive disorder that affects the myelin sheath or fatty cover of the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord and results in motor and movement impairment. Because MS primarily affects young adults in their 20s and 30s, the economic and social impact is significant.

The last ten years have seen improvements in the therapeutic options available to MS patients. Injectable interferons have demonstrated the ability to control MS symptoms, but not without side effects. The reformulation of Copaxone has provided an alternative efficacious drug option. The performance of these drugs in effectively treating MS has led to a measure of relief for patients and financial success for drug suppliers. Now a number of oral drugs for treating various forms of multiple sclerosis have reached late-stage clinical development, and their eventual commercialization could have a significant impact on the market for MS therapeutics.

“Suppliers of the top five FDA approved drugs for treating MS recognized a total of $8.5 billion in 2008,” explains George Perros, Greystone Associates Managing Director. “The top four recorded average ex-manufacturer revenues of $ 2 billion, and we expect the fifth, Tysabri, to reach the billion mark in 2010. All five are delivered by either injection or IV. Oral drug candidates in late-stage development are now preparing to spoil the party.”

A new research study, Autoimmune Disease Therapeutics: Targets, Technologies, Therapies, Markets and Opportunities, examines the current therapeutic landscape for MS and five other key autoimmune diseases. The study analyzes key late-stage candidates and their probable impact on treatment strategies and prescribing trends. It also identifies the key players in each therapeutic segment, describes the regulatory and commercial environment, and assesses the dynamics of patient care that will affect market development.

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