Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the most significant driver of growth in the type 1 diabetes market will be the shift in the standard of care away from regular human insulins and neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin to more-expensive rapid-acting insulin analogues and long-acting insulin analogues. Short-acting insulin analogues provide a more rapid onset of action than regular human insulin and long-acting insulin analogues require fewer injections than NPH insulin.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Type 1 Diabetes finds that market growth will be driven by rapid-acting insulin analogues that include Novo Nordisk's Novorapid/Novolog and Eli Lilly's Humalog as well as long-acting insulin analogues that include Sanofi-Aventis's Lantus and Novo Nordisk's Levemir. Since the type 1 diabetes market is saturated with effective and well-established insulin-based therapies that have been in use for decades, the report forecasts only modest 1.2 percent annual market growth through 2017.
According to the report, novel devices designed to allow needle-free administration of insulin could revolutionize treatment of type 1 diabetes, but their uptake will be hampered by physicians' negative experience with Pfizer/Nektar's inhaled insulin, Exubera, which fared poorly in the market owing to safety concerns and its premium price. Among the insulin-based therapies currently in the pipeline for type 1 diabetes, oral and transdermal insulins hold the greatest promise but their use will be constrained by dosing variability issues that are likely to dissuade physicians from prescribing them.
The report also finds that novel immunomodulators, particularly Diamyd Medical's DiamydT and DeveloGen/Andromeda Biotech's DiaPep-277, will drive growth in the Type 1 diabetes market. Through 2017, sales of DiamydT and DiaPep-277 will reach $45 million.
"Experts that we interviewed unanimously agree that the treatment of type 1 diabetes is characterized by a high level of unmet need for therapies that can halt the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic-beta cells," said Caroline Gates, analyst at Decision Resources. "Immunomodulators have the potential to preserve beta-cell function, but their use will be hampered by long-term safety concerns, high prices and by the small number of eligible patients who would benefit from these agents."
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