Sales of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are projected to grow from $19.1bn in 2016 to $25.3bn in 2026, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘PharmaPoint: Multiple Sclerosis – Global Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2026’, the report covers the DMTs market in the seven major markets of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Japan.

An increase in treatment rates and launch of new pipeline products will be the key factors driving the market.

The existing MS market is dominated by a large number of generic drugs, which offer relatively good safety, but only moderate efficacy. The market is dominated by four players, including Biogen, Merck Serono (EMD Serono in the US), Teva, and Bayer HealthCare, which lead the market through their injectable DMTs.

”An increase in treatment rates and launch of new pipeline products will be the key factors driving the market.”

Reliance on these injectable DMTs will decrease over the forecast period, while uptake of oral DMTs is expected to rise, thereby offsetting the generic erosion of key brands, states Gengyu Li, Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData.

Pharmaceutical companies are employing innovative strategies, forming partnerships and investing in research and development (R&D) to survive in the increasingly competitive MS market. They are focusing on the development of products that address clinical unmet needs and target progressive types of MS.

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The progressive nature of MS provides several key opportunities for pharmaceutical companies in the market. Physicians are more likely to choose drugs with better safety profiles, delay disease progression or reverse some of the effects of MS, adds Li.

The report has identified 17 late-stage drug products, which are expected to be launched in the market during the forecast period. The products are anticipated to account for a 29.6% share of the global MS market and generate $7.5bn in sales.