The global type 2 diabetes market is heating up, as obesity increases and incidents of diabetes approach epidemic proportions globally. Although more than 40 diabetes therapeutics are approved for type 2 diabetes, there are high levels of unmet need, creating opportunities for companies in the secondary and tertiary treatment segments that address such complications as cardiovascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, and blindness. Rapid expansion for the global diabetes market is expected during at least the next decade.
“There’s a lot of work today around preventing complications. Mostly, drug development companies are focusing on neurosalvage, cardiovascular protection, and lipid management, all of which help prevent complications,” according to T. Forcht Dagi, M.D., MPH, DMedSc, professor, Harvard Medical School and Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and partner at HLM Venture Partners.
“Researchers are working to balance the risk of hypo- and hyperglycemia, to produce improved, long-lasting effects, and to enable self-correction.” Those goals are leading researchers to investigate new pumps for type 2 diabetes, as well as to investigate the complexities of the disease, including its environmental components, he says.
The global market for diabetes therapeutics and diagnostics (including devices for diagnosis and monitoring, as well as therapeutic agents) is expected to climb from $110 billion in 2011 to nearly $157 billion by 2017, according to BCC Research. The compounded annual growth rate is expected to increase by 4.7% in North America, by 5.7% in Europe, and by 6.6% in Asia.
“All the action is in type 2 diabetes,” Donny Wong, Ph.D., director of metabolic disorders research at Decision Resources, says. The G7 countries alone account for $26 billion in revenue from diabetes drug sales. “In 10 years, the G7 market is expected to surpass $49 billion, and global sales will exceed $80 billion.” Decision Resources reports 20 drugs in Phase III trials and 27 drugs in Phase II trials for type 2 diabetes. “The first line of therapy remains metformin, which has been in use 50 years in Europe and 20 years in the U.S. The competitive action is in the second- and third-line spaces.”