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Report: Asthma Drug Market Will Remain Relatively Flat Through 2022

Once-daily Breo/Relvar expected to challenge Advair (December 18)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that the drug market for asthma will remain relatively flat through 2022.

Currently, the market is driven by maintenance therapies that successfully treat patients with mild or moderate disease, including the current market leaders Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol, GlaxoSmithKline), a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA)/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) combination, and Singulair (montelukast, Merck), a leukotriene inhibitor. However, these leading agents are already beginning to face generic erosion that will lead to a decline in sales, the report says.

The report also finds that the overall market for asthma will remain stable, increasing slightly from $15.3 billion in 2012 to $16.2 billion in 2022 in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. However, the makeup of the biggest sellers in the market will differ in 2022. As the current market leaders undergo generic erosion, including a substantial 67% drop in Singulair’s sales over the forecast period, asthma sales in later years will be driven by the uptake of the once-daily LABA/ICS combination Breo/Relvar (vilanterol/fluticasone, GlaxoSmithKline/Theravance) and by four novel anticytokine agents that will serve part of the unmet need in patients with severe, refractory asthma.

“Physicians are waiting for more options for their severe, refractory patients beyond oral corticosteroids and the lone biologic approved for asthma, Genentech/Novartis’ Xolair [omalizumab], so they are eager to use the new biologics in specific patients,” said analyst Colleen E. Albacker, PhD. “Although we anticipate low patient share for these emerging agents, their high price tags will help to offset declining sales due to generic entry of the current market leaders.”

The report also finds that Breo/Relvar will perform strongly and act as another key growth driver in the asthma market. The once-daily administration of Breo/Relvar will be the first to offer a dosing improvement over currently marketed twice-daily LABA/ICS combinations, and an aggressive marketing campaign will enable the combination drug to begin to challenge the dominance of these combinations in all major markets, although Advair will remain the asthma sales leader.

Source: Decision Resources; December 18, 2013.

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