Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Market to Soar

The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug market is projected to reach approximately $28.5 billion by 2025.

The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug market is projected to reach approximately $28.5 billion by 2025, according to a new report by GlobalData.

The RA disease space spans across 8 major markets of the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Japan, and the UK, totaling $19.5 billion in 2015.

The new report cites some of the major growth drivers, which includes an increase of prevalent RA cases, the anticipated introduction of interleukin-6 inhibitors, the launch and continued uptake of biosimilars for all established biologics on the market, and the early diagnosis and treatment of patients with RA to limit progression, according to Drug Discovery & Development.

By 2025, biosimilars of all established biologics are expected to launch in all 8 of the major markets, excluding etanercept in the United States and certolizumab in Japan. Biosimilars will account for 23% of the market by 2025.

Another drug class expected to gain traction in the market share are Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. Although uptake of Pfizer’s Xeljanz had been low initially due to certain safety concerns, sales of the drug are expected to rise in the first half of the forecast, due in part to increased familiarity of the drug among physicians and its potential launch in the EU.

Xeljanz is the only JAK inhibitor currently available for RA, and primary research by GlobalData has found that rheumatologists typically reserve Xeljanz for fourth-line therapy.

Four other JAK inhibitors are expected to launch during the forecast period: baricitinib, peficitinib, upadacitinib, and filgotinib.

“The anti-TNFs have been effective in treating the signs and symptoms of RA and inhibiting the progression to erosive bone disease,” a GlobalData press release stated. “However, the landscape is quickly changing with the introduction of biosimilars, novel biologics, and a class of oral therapies known as JAK inhibitors, all of which will change the market dynamics between 2015 and 2025. With the anti-TNFs as extremely effective for RA, the market is extremely competitive for new entrants and will undergo further pressure as biosimilars launch across the 8 [major markets] and begin to gain traction in these markets.”

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and deformity in the joints. Within the 8 major markets, RA affects more than 6 million individuals and the number is expected to rise to nearly 7 million by 2025.