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Pain – GPCR and Nerve Growth Factor-Based Therapies Offer Strong Potential in Difficult-to-Treat Subtypes

The pain therapeutics market has been largely characterized by only incremental product innovation over the last decade, as most market segments continue to be dominated by long-established active pharmaceutical ingredients and mechanisms of action. The moderate-to-severe pain space continues to be dominated by opioids, which are increasingly being reformulated to offer abuse resistance, whereas mild pain is effectively treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, significant unmet needs remain, as chronic pain subtypes—particularly neuropathic pain—do not respond well to existing therapies. This report assesses first-in-class innovation across the pain pipeline.


There are 909 pipeline programs in active development for pain. What proportion of these products are first-in-class? How does first-in-class innovation vary by development stage and molecular target class?

The market for pain treatment is heavily saturated. Which drug classes are used to treat pain? How do the drug classes in the market compare with those in the pipelines?

Which molecular target classes are prominently represented in the first-in-class pain pipelines? Which first-in-class targets have been identified as most promising for the treatment of pain? Which first-in-class products have prior deal involvement?

Reasons to Buy

Understand the current disease landscape with an overview of etiology, pathophysiology, disease classification and staging systems and epidemiology for major pain subtypes.

Visualize the composition of the pain market in terms of dominant molecule types and molecular targets. This knowledge allows a competitive understanding of gaps in the current market.

Analyze and compare the pain pipeline and stratify by stage of development, molecule type, and molecular target.

Assess the therapeutic potential of first-in-class targets. Using a proprietary matrix, first-in-class products have been assessed and ranked according to clinical potential. Promising first-in-class targets have been reviewed in greater detail.

Recognize commercial opportunities by identifying first-in-class pipeline products for pain that have not yet been involved in licensing or co-development deals, and by analyzing company strategies in prior deals through case studies of key deals for first-in-class pain products.

Table of Contents

1 Table of Contents

1.1 List of Tables

1.2 List of Figures

2 Pain: Executive Summary

2.1 Substantial Unmet Needs Remain in Core Therapy Types

2.2 Highly Diversified Range of Innovative Programs in the Early Pipeline

3 Introduction

3.1 Catalyst

3.2 Related Reports

4 Disease Overview

4.1 Etiology and Pathophysiology

4.1.1 Etiology

4.1.2 Pathophysiology

4.2 Classification

4.3 Sustained Innovation in Pain

4.4 Epidemiology for Pain

4.4.1 Fibromyalgia

4.4.2 Migraine

4.4.3 Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

4.4.4 Trigeminal Neuralgia

4.5 Overview for Marketed Products

5 Assessment of Pipeline Product Innovation

5.1 Overview

5.2 Pipeline by Stage of Development and Molecule Type

5.3 Pipeline by Molecular Target

5.4 Comparative Distribution of Programs Between Pain Market and Pipeline by Therapeutic Target Family

5.5 Comparative Distribution of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Pipeline Programs by Molecular Target Class

5.5.1 Percentage Distribution of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Pipeline Programs

5.6 Ratio of First-in-Class Programs to First-in-Class Molecular Target Within the Pipeline

6 First-in-Class Molecular Target Evaluation

6.1 Overview

6.2 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #1]

6.3 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #2]

6.4 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #3]

6.5 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #4]

6.6 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #5]

6.7 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #6]

6.8 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #7]

6.9 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #8]

6.10 Pipeline Programs Targeting [Identified Target #9]

7 Key Players and Deals

7.1 Overview

7.1.1 Eli Lilly’s Co-Development Deal with Pfizer for Tanezumab

7.1.2 Allergan Enters into Licensing Agreement with Merck to Secure Two Migraine Drugs

7.1.3 Regeneron’s Co-Development Agreement with Teva for Fasinumab

8 Appendix

8.1 Bibliography

8.2 Abbreviations

8.3 Methodology

8.3.1 Market Analysis

8.3.2 Overall Pipeline Analysis

8.3.3 First-in-Class Pipeline Analysis

8.3.4 First-in-Class Matrix Assessment

8.3.5 First-in-Class Molecular Target Evaluation

8.3.6 Key Players and Deals

8.4 About the Authors

8.4.1 Analyst

8.4.2 Therapy Area Director

8.4.3 Global Director of Therapy Analysis and Epidemiology

8.4.4 Global Head and EVP of Healthcare Operations and Strategy

8.5 About GlobalData

8.6 Contact Us

8.7 Disclaimer

List of Tables

Table 1: Etiology of Chronic Pain

Table 2: Classification of Pain

Table 3: Fibromyalgia, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2013–2023

Table 4: Migraine, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2016–2026

Table 5: Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2016–2026

Table 6: Trigeminal Neuralgia, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2012–2022

List of Figures

Figure 1: Pain, Global Market by Molecular Target and Molecule Type, 2019

Figure 2: Pain, Global, Pipeline by Stage of Development and Molecule Type, 2019

Figure 3: Pain, Global, Pipeline by Molecular Target and Stage of Development, 2019

Figure 4: Pain, Global, Distribution of Pipeline and Marketed Products by Molecular Target Class, 2019

Figure 5: Pain, Global, Distribution of Pipeline Products by First-in-Class Status and Molecular Target Class, 2019

Figure 6: Pain, Global, Percentage Distribution of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Products by Stage of Development and Molecular Target Class, 2019

Figure 7: Pain, Global, Ratio of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Products to First-in-Class Targets by Stage of Development and Molecular Target Class, 2019


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