The Alzheimer Commercial Market
The exponential increase in the expected number of patients presenting with Alzheimer’s disease not only represents a major area of unmet medical need, but it also represents a significant market opportunity for therapeutics and diagnostics, as there is currently no fully effective method of treating the disease.
The global market for Alzheimer’s disease reached $10.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to decrease at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.5% to reach $9.5 billion in 2017. The Alzheimer market is currently driven by the disease modifying drug sales totaling more than 6 billion USD. Due to patent expiries and delayed introduction of new effective drugs, this market is expected to decline in the next 5 years.
The AD biomarker sales are currently at 1.5 billion USD, but they are expected to double within the next 5 years (BCC research 2013).
Current clinical research focuses on the early phases of the disease. However, no accurate and convenient tools are available today for pre-dementia diagnosis of AD to support these efforts.
Currently AD is diagnosed as a clinical entity using a process that combines cognition assessments with imaging- and spinal-fluid (CSF) tests. This diagnostic procedure may last for several months to a year and is usually initiated late in the disease development.
Several SMEs are focusing on blood as a test material. Typically these SMEs employ a multi-assay strategy (multiple RNAs or proteins) combined with advanced statistical tools/algorithms to develop disease-specific diagnostic models; though research has lasted a decade to date, none has reported any robust and repeatable performance or commercial success.
The new biomarker from AHUS avoids these challenging obstacles and in so doing leads to a shorter development cycle for commercialization.