Osteoarthritis Pain Medications Struggle to Impress in Advanced Cases

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Osteoarthritis (OA) sufferers are demanding more from their painkillers, as current treatment options fail to alleviate pain in advanced cases, according to healthcare experts GlobalData.

The new report* shows that the chronic nature of OA and the absence of any curative therapies mean that treatments for associated pain, essential to maintain a patient’s quality of life, must be improved to help all stages of cartilage degradation.

OA is a chronic joint disease with associated pain and represents the leading cause of chronic disability in the US. While current competition in the OA pain market is strong, with drug classes such as Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), simple analgesics, corticosteroids and opioids, providing effective relief for discomfort in the early-to-mid stages of OA pain, GlobalData’s research indicates that these options fail to provide adequate pain relief in the late stages of OA when there is further degradation of the cartilage.

NSAIDs have also been associated with gastrointestinal (GI), renal and cardiovascular adverse effects when used long-term. For this reason, there is scope for new entrants better able to treat late-stage OA pain and offer improved safety profiles.

GlobalData analysis shows that the OA pain therapeutics development pipeline contains 47 molecules, with seven molecules in regulatory filing and Phase III stages.

First-in-Class (FIC) molecules account for 85% of the overall pipeline, with some boasting novel mechanisms such as voltage dependent calcium channel inhibitors, nerve growth factor inhibitors and cyclooxygenase-inhibiting nitric oxide-donating mechanism (CINOD). This suggests that the OA pain therapeutics pipeline is strong.

However, molecules in the early stages of development will have a limited impact on the OA pain therapeutics market during the immediate future, while progress will also depend on gaining FDA regulatory authorization.

In June 2010, the FDA put the osteoarthritis clinical program for FIC molecule tanezumab on clinical hold due to the worsening of osteoarthritis in 16 patients in one of its Phase III trials. Similarly, in June 2011, Durect/Pfizer received a complete response letter from the FDA that raised concerns relating to the chemistry, manufacturing and controls section of the NDA for oral, long-acting oxycodone gelatin capsule, Remoxy.

If drug development continues to be slowed due to adverse results in clinical trials, growth in the value of the OA pain therapeutics marketing may be stunted. GlobalData estimates that the global osteoarthritis (OA) pain therapeutics market was worth $4,521m in 2011, and is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.7% over the next eight years to reach $6,061m by 2019.



*Osteoarthritis (OA) Pain Therapeutics - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2019

This report is an essential source of information and analysis on OA pain therapeutics and identifies the key trends shaping and driving the global market. It also provides insights on the prevalent competitive landscape. Most importantly, the report provides valuable insights on the pipeline products within the global OA pain therapeutics sector. This report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.


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