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Report: Substantial Growth Expected in Gout Drug Market

Sales of drugs for chronic gout will double by 2021 (Dec. 5)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that the launch of febuxostat (Uloric, Takeda) in 2009 and anticipated launches of lesinurad (AstraZeneca) and ulodesine (BioCryst) for the treatment of gout are creating a depth of new clinical data and treatment options in what had been a dormant therapeutic area for decades.

The company also forecasts that the chronic gout segment of the gout market will double from $500 million in 2011 to more than $1 billion in 2021 in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Emerging urate-lowering drugs are expected to compete for the remaining gout patients who are unable to meet target serum uric acid levels during treatment with febuxostat or allopurinol (Zyloprim, Prometheus Laboratories/GlaxoSmithKline).

“The launch of lesinurad will provide a new uricosuric drug positioned to be used in combination with allopurinol,” said analyst Gideon Heap, MSc. “Lesinurad has a more favorable safety profile than existing uricosurics and will become the market-leading urate-lowering drug by 2018.”

The report also finds that the acute gout segment of the gout market will grow at a steady 5.3% annual rate over the next decade, reaching $800 million in 2021. The only emerging therapy set to reach the acute gout market during the forecast period is the interleukin-1 inhibitor canakinumab (Novartis).

“Canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody, will provide relief to a small niche of patients with severe gout, but it will not significantly affect the acute gout landscape owing to its high price,” Heap said.

According to the report, emerging therapies are positioned as second- or later-line drugs for the hard-to-treat gout patients who are typically under the care of specialist rheumatologists. Pegloticase (Krystexxa, Savient) was launched in the U.S. in February 2011 for the small population of patients with chronic tophaceous gout, but the drug failed to earn substantial sales because of its high price and tendency to induce neutralizing antibodies, which limit the duration of effect.

Source: Decision Resources; December 5, 2012.

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