Ophtha Market Small but Attractive Even with 2018 Set-Backs

A leading data and analytics company, GlobalData, reports that notwithstanding the withdrawal of promising ophthalmic pharmaceuticals from the clinical pipeline, the June 2018 Novartis spin-off of Alcon, and the rumours of Takeda selling Shire’s ophthalmic business, the ophtha market will continue to attract extensive R&D investment.

Seven pipeline pharmaceuticals were withdrawn from clinical trials in 2018, including lampalizumab, Roche’s widely anticipated late stage dry AMD drug.  Maura Musciacco, Director of Neurology & Ophthalmology at GlobalData, states: “The geographic [retinal] atrophy segment still lacks approved therapies and arguably also represents the largest unmet need in the ophthalmology market.”

The report also characterizes the ALCON spin-off as an expected event in view of the parent company’s (Novartis) recent penchant for divesting businesses outside of its core Rx pharma business. 

Earlier rumours that Takeda, Shire’s Japanese parent company, would divest the ophthalmology business, which consists of Xiidra for dry eye and several pipeline compounds for glaucoma and infectious conjunctivitis, were also cited as downside factors.

Musciacco concludes, “…the anatomy of the eye represents a challenge for R&D and ocular drug delivery. As such, the ophthalmology market has typically been associated as a small specialist field. Nevertheless, it is expected to see solid growth going forwards.”

Click HERE for the full press release. 

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