The osteoarthritis (OA) market in the seven major markets (7MM) of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1%, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘OpportunityAnalyzer: Osteoarthritis Opportunity Analysis and Forecasts to 2026’, the report estimates the OA market in the 7MM will grow from $1.6bn in 2016 to $3.5bn in 2026, dominated by the US, which currently accounts for 68.2% of the sales.

The anticipated growth is attributed to a rise in the aging population, as well as the launch of novel biologic therapies and small molecules in the largely genericised market.

The US share of sales across the 7MM is estimated to grow to 75% at the end of the forecast period, attributed to the nation’s large OA population, while the five European Union countries and Japan will respectively account for 15% and 10% of sales.

“The anticipated growth is attributed to a rise in the aging population, as well as the launch of novel biologic therapies and small molecules in the largely genericised market.”

The higher sales numbers for the US are also attributable to the high annual cost of therapy.

Complicated pathophysiology and unclear etiology make OA a heterogeneous disease, making the patient populations distinct. Furthermore, the disease is associated with aging and elderly patients and occurs alongside co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and/or hypertension. A number of existing OA treatment modalities are contraindicated in such patients.

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Available treatments for the disease are, however, symptomatic therapies that offer limited pain relief and have disease-modifying effects, offering a huge opportunity for companies to develop drugs with novel mechanism of actions and disease-modifying effects.

Anti-NGFs, a novel class of analgesics, are expected to become the most attractive new treatment option for moderate-to-severe knee and hip OA treatment, according to Maria Sudul, Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData.