Global Rheumatoid Arthritis market set to reach $27.8bn by 2027, says GlobalData

The Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) market is expected to grow from $23.3bn in 2017 to $27.8bn in 2027 across the eight major markets (8MM*) at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.8%, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report: ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis: Global Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2027’ reveals that although the RA market is expected to grow during the forecast period, this growth will be significantly tempered by biosimilar erosion.

Rose Joachim, PhD, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData explains: “Between 2017 and 2027, modest growth in the RA market will be driven primarily by the anticipated approval and launch of seven pipeline therapies.”

These include one TNF-α inhibitor (Taisho’s ozoralizumab), two IL-6 inhibitors (R-Pharm’s olokizumab and Sanofi/Ablynx’s vobarilizumab), and four small molecule oral therapeutics. These small molecule drugs include three agents that target and inhibit Janus Kinases (JAKs) (Astellas’ peficitinib, AbbVie’s upadacitinib, and Gilead/Galapagos’ filgotinib) and one that targets the c-3 adenosine receptor (Can-Fite’s piclidenoson).

Joachim continues, “Over the last 20 years, the RA market has grown prodigiously with the introduction and continued development of biologic medicines. This includes blockbuster drugs such as Pfizer/Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept) and AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), which in 2017, together claimed over 50% of the total RA market ($12.3bn).

“However, in recent years, growth in the RA market has begun to slacken and will likely continue to slow as a result of biosimilar erosion. Over the forecast period, revenue from the biosimilar class is expected to increase from 1% to 22% of total sales, growing at a CAGR of 34.9%.” 

GlobalData’s report posits that the expansion of the small molecule JAK inhibitor class and other novel oral agents will play especially powerful roles in shaping the RA market of the future. During the forecast period, GlobalData projects that throughout the 8MM, the JAK inhibitor class will grow at a CAGR of 7.9%.

Among the late stage pipeline agents, key opinion leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData were especially enthusiastic regarding the future of AbbVie’s upadacitinib and Gilead/Galapagos’ filgotinib, both of which are selective JAK1 inhibitors. In 2027, GlobalData forecast these two drugs to bring in revenues of $879.7m and $396.0m, respectively. The earlier stage pipeline for RA also looks fairly promising and includes numerous other oral kinase-inhibiting drugs, particularly in the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor class.

Joachim concludes: “Although the RA market is fairly mature, KOLs interviewed by GlobalData emphasized that there is still room for the standard of care to improve. Of particular note are the unmet needs for earlier diagnosis and treatment of the disease, more cost-effective medications, personalized strategies for treatment of active disease, and a better-defined approach to de-escalation of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) during remission.”

*8MM = US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan, and Australia

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