The non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45% from $618m in 2016 to $25.3bn by 2026, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘OpportunityAnalyzer: NASH – Opportunity Analysis and Forecasts to 2026’, the report covers the seven major markets of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Japan.

The major growth drivers identified by the report include an increase in obesity and diabetes rates and the launch of late-stage pipeline products.

The NASH market has been historically dominated by off-label generics in the absence of approved therapies. Off-label agents, however, have been providing low safety and efficacy outcomes to patients.

"The report anticipates the currently available drugs to account for the majority of the sales in the NASH market by 2026."

Several companies are now developing late-stage pipeline drugs for the indication by identifying biomarkers, a strategy that is expected to transform the market into a lucrative and competitive space, states Lakshmi Dharmarajan, PhD, Managing Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData.

Although initial uptake will be slow due to their high cost, these drugs are expected to eventually replace existing treatments during the later stage of the forecast period. A key factor for this will be the launch of biomarkers, which help in identifying the target treatment group and predicting outcomes.

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Since the drugs will have different mechanisms of action, each of them is expected to treat a specific patient pool. As a result, the NASH market will be highly fragmented with each drug capturing a small share of the market, adds Dharmarajan.

The report anticipates the currently available drugs to account for the majority of the sales in the NASH market by 2026.

Some of the drugs include Gilead’s selonsertib, Intercept’s ocaliva, and Genfit’s elafibranor, which are expected to capture 29%, 22% and 21% of global sales respectively.