The Unmet Medical Need
The therapeutic area of Alzheimer’s disease is in dire need of effective treatments. It is one of the areas in medicine with the highest unmet medical need. In the absence of effective therapies, the estimated number of people with Alzheimer’s will reach over 130 million by 2050.
130 million patients in 2050
It is estimated that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias afflicts on the order of 55 million patients worldwide today with a new case being registered every 3 seconds.
In the absence of disease-modifying treatments that can stop or slow down the disease, the number of cases is currently growing by nearly 10 million every year, expected to reach more than 130 million before 2050 which highlights the high unmet medical need for innovative drugs in the area. The cost to society of the disease is estimated to be approximately USD 1 trillion annually (World Alzheimer’s Report 2018, 2021, WHO Dementia)
A disease modifying therapy can help millions of patients globally
There is no cure or treatments available for Alzheimer’s disease that can provide anything more than temporary symptom relief. To date, more than 140 drugs have been tested in clinical trials and despite intensive research, nearly 15 years have passed since the last new Alzheimer’s disease medication was approved. Whilst the first drug for disease-modification has recently been approved, there is still a very long way to go to truly treat and prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. (What’s New in the Alzheimer’s Treatment Pipeline?).
A pharmaceutical with even moderate disease-modifying efficacy would therefore be a major sales and revenue opportunity. According to Global Data, the annual sales volume of disease modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease in the US, EU (Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain), Japan, China and India will reach up to USD 13 billion in 2028 (Global Data 2020). This growth will be driven by the increasing prevalence world wide and the introduction of disease modifying therapies.