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Report: Third-Generation Antiepileptic Drugs Expected to Fuel Growth of Epilepsy Market Through 2021

But second-generation agents will remain sales leaders (Dec. 11)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that the epilepsy market will increase from $2.9 billion in 2011 to nearly $3.7 billion in 2016 before leveling off in 2021. The expanding number and growing uptake of third-generation antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) — led by lacosamide (Vimpat, UCB) and including other agents, such as perampanel (Fycompa, Eisai), ezogabine/retigabine (Potigat, GlaxoSmithKline/Valeant), and eslicarbazepine acetate (Stedesa, Sepracor; not yet FDA approved) — is expected to be a major contributor to this growth.

The company also finds that the second-generation AED class will maintain its sales leader position through 2021. Second-generation agents — such as levetiracetam (Keppra, UCB) and lamotrigine (Lamictal, GlaxoSmithKline) — continue to displace older, first-generation AEDs across the major pharmaceutical markets. The U.S. market is expected to see the launch and uptake of extended-release formulations of certain members of the drug class, such as SPN-804 (Oxtellar XR, Supernus). At the same time, the use of third-generation AEDs will not supersede that of second-generation drugs, as the former typically experience a more gradual incorporation into the epilepsy treatment algorithm, the company says.

“After a five-year surge in launches of new AEDs, the late-stage epilepsy drug development pipeline is dwindling,” said analyst Nadja Rozovsky, PhD. “We currently forecast the launch of only one new molecular entity, UCB’s brivaracetam, over the next decade.”

According to the company, the greatest unmet need in epilepsy remains the inadequate control of seizures, which occur in 20% to 30% of drug-treated epilepsy patients.

Source: Decision Resources; December 11, 2012.

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