Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that sales of therapies to treat diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy will increase by more than 70 percent from $3.2 billion in 2008 to $5.5 billion in 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The new Pharmacor report entitled Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Neuropathy and Diabetic Nephropathy finds that the diabetic retinopathy drug market will experience the greatest growth, increasing by more than 60 percent annually through 2013 and by more than 40 percent annually from 2013 to 2018. Within the diabetic retinopathy market, the use of drugs from the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors class will expand significantly following the approval of several VEGF inhibitors for this indication. The report finds that VEGF inhibitors, most notably Roche/Novartis's Lucentis and Regeneron/Bayer's aflibercept, will dominate the diabetic retinopathy market by 2018, although laser photocoagulation therapy will also continue to be widely used.

The report also finds that the imminent loss of patent protection for many of the widely prescribed drugs in the angiotensin II receptor antagonists (AIIRAs) class will cause a decline in the diabetic nephropathy market through 2013. However, the subsequent launch of new drugs for this indication, such as NephroGenex's pyridoxamine, will drive significant growth in the diabetic nephropathy market between 2013 and 2018.

Additionally, despite numerous past failures of drugs aimed at improving nerve function in patients with diabetic neuropathy, several drugs for the indication that are currently in development will likely gain regulatory approval. The report finds that the late-stage pipeline for novel therapies for diabetic neuropathy has expanded significantly since 2008 as there are currently 15 emerging therapies in this indication.

"Within all three markets, the launch and uptake of novel drugs will be the single biggest driver of growth," said Decision Resources Analyst Christine Helliwell, Ph.D. "In each market, most emerging therapies will be used either in addition to existing therapies or in patients who are currently untreated. Uptake of these agents, in addition to the continued uptake of existing therapies, will increase overall drug-treatment rates and will expand the markets to treat diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy."

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