Disease focus of the month – Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease: is caused by progressive neurodegeneration, and afflicts nearly 1% of people over the age of 70. This disease is characterized by uncontrolled tremor, hypokinesia, and rigidity. The underlying symptoms of the disease are caused by selective degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) neurons. It is more common among elderly people especially after they cross the age of 50.

Prevalence Rate: PD affects over 1.5 million people across the seven major markets (U.S.A, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) The world’s highest prevalence is found in Amish community, north east of the U.S.A. which is 970 per 100,000. Next prevalence is found in the vicinities of ferromanganese plants near Brescia in Italy with 407 per 100,000 population. The Parsi communities of Mumbai, India have a very high prevalence of 328.3 per 100,000 population.

Cause(s): PD is caused by the degeneration of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia.

Treatments: There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However medications, surgery and multidisciplinary management can reduce the symptoms. Levodopa (L-DOPA) remains the most effective therapy which is administered five times a day on average. This provides relief to the patients for 1-5 years. However as the disease progresses, the effects of L-DOPA tends to diminish. There are many drugs in the pipelines in Phase 2 and 3 which could help reduce the symptoms. In sum, there is an unmet need for drugs that can help slow or even prevent the disease progression.

Market size: Based on the research by Datamonitor, the seven important markets generated sales of $2.2bn. Datamonitor forecasts the growth to slow from a CAGR of 7.9% (2005-2009) to 2.2% (2009-2019)


Parkinson’s disease market: http://www.nature.com/reviews/drugdisc