Unmet need for MS treatment impacts the most common type of MS patients

6th December 2017 (Last Updated December 6th, 2017 10:11)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the immune system attacks the protective sheath covering nerves and can cause significant disability, such as paralysis.

Unmet need for MS treatment impacts the most common type of MS patients

Figure 1 presents the diagnosed prevalent cases of MS by type in the 7MM (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Japan) in 2016.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the immune system attacks the protective sheath covering nerves and can cause significant disability, such as paralysis.

MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide. Several different types of MS exist, which include relapsing remitting (RRMS), in which flare-ups are followed by periods of remission and then relapse; primary progressive (PPMS), in which the disease progresses slowly without periods of remission; and secondary progressive (SPMS), in which the symptoms worsen steadily over time with no periods of remission.

The most common form of MS is RRMS, which has the lowest disease severity, but also lacks efficient treatment to effectively prevent the disease from progressing to the more severe forms.

Courses of treatment depend on the classification of MS type.

GlobalData epidemiologists analyzed the epidemiological trends of MS in the seven major markets (7MM: US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Japan) and determined that RRMS is the most common MS type. In the UK and France, PPMS is the second most common MS type, whereas in the other markets analyzed, SPMS is the second most common type. The figure below presents the diagnosed prevalent cases of MS by types in both sexes and all ages in the 7MM in 2016.

In the 7MM combined, GlobalData estimated there were 726,343 diagnosed prevalent cases of MS classified as RRMS, corresponding to 70% of all diagnosed prevalent cases. In the 5EU (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK), RRMS accounted for 79% of all diagnosed prevalent cases of MS. The US alone has 241,253 cases of RRMS.

MS symptoms include muscle weakness, weak reflexes, tremor, muscle spasm, prolonged double vision, slurred speech, and balance problems. MS can occur at any age, but commonly affects people of ages 15–60 years.

This disease significantly impacts the most productive years of a person’s life. About 40% of RRMS patients will develop SPMS in 10–15 years, where neurological degeneration and disability worsens steadily over time.

However, GlobalData analysts identified that most existing disease-modifying treatments are not very effective in slowing down worsening of neurological damages or preventing disease progression. This is an area with especially high market potential, since the largest proportion of MS cases are RRMS and would benefit from therapy that effectively prevents disease worsening to SPMS.