Alzheimer's still has no cure; However, with the help of drugs, the symptoms of this disease can be managed. Alzheimer's treatment is a high-risk treatment, but is a high-reward market.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which is characterized by memory loss, cognitive impairment, and functional decline. During the early stages of this disease, sleep disturbances and forgetfulness are the first showing symptoms that occurs in a patient. It is a progressive disease, as it gradually increases with time and damages the maximum part of the brain and finally ruptures the brain cells and nerves. The major concern regarding Alzheimer's disease is the detection of the condition in the patient.
In 2017, the market completely changed, with the introduction of the disease-modifying therapies and innovative diagnostic technologies for Alzheimer's. The potential of new drugs and diagnostics in this market is enormous, given the high prevalence of AD. Currently, the prescribed medications have been approved to treat Alzheimer's in early-to-medium stages, with a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. These inhibitors are prescribed to treat symptoms that are related to memory, thinking, language, judgment, and other thought processes.
Many of the prescribed drugs are currently being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for the treatment of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's. FDA has also approved many specific drugs to treat Alzheimer's, which are helpful in curing the symptoms. According to the latest Dementia India report, a study by the Alzheimer's and Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI) revealed that there are nearly 3.7 million people affected by dementia in India. The Alzheimer's drug market in India is largely occupied by the domestic and foreign generic drug developers.
A report by a Market Intelligence Firm states that the Alzheimer's market accounted for USD 5.7 billion in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.3%. Due to drug patent expirations and many generics entering the market, the market is expected to witness a slump by 2017. The market is anticipated to record growth, driven by disease-modifying drugs and numerous last-stage pipeline drugs. The prevalence of Alzheimer's in the United States is almost 5 million. Moreover, owing to the increasing aging population, the number is expected to increase further, globally.
The main hurdle for the Alzheimer's diagnosis and drugs market is the lack of substitute markers in the market, for drug discovery and drug development. In addition, it is a highly expensive process, which is plagued with uncertainty issues. The treatment of Alzheimer's is a tricky affair. Currently, there is no specific test that can confirm the presence of Alzheimer's.