According to GlobalData’s epidemiologists, more than 109,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) across the seven major markets (7MM) of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Japan.

GHD is a rare disorder characterised by inadequate secretion of growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary gland, which can be successfully treated with recombinant human GH therapy. However, the number of GHD patients receiving GH therapy is much lower than the number of affected individuals due to a long-standing issue of non-adherence to the daily GH injections.

Efforts have been ongoing to improve non-adherence by designing better delivery devices. In recent years, drug developers have focused their attention on designing long-acting GH drugs, which would require less frequent injections, potentially improving compliance and long-term adherence to therapy. At present, all of the late-stage pipeline drugs in the GHD space are long-acting recombinant GHs (rGH), including Novo Nordisk 's somapacitan, Pfizer / OPKO's Lagova (hGH-CTP), Versartis' somavaratan, and Ascendis Pharma 's TransCon Growth Hormone.

GlobalData projects the global GHD marketplace to experience modest growth from approximately $1.42 billion in 2016 to $2.08 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%. The US market is expected to grow the fastest at a CAGR of 4.4%, generating approximately 69% of global sales in 2026. GlobalData believes that these long-acting GHs will eventually replace daily growth hormones, and will take away more than half of the latter’s patient share by the end of the forecast period. Among them, Pfizer / OPKO’s Lagova, Versartis’ somavaratan, and Novo Nordisk’s somapacitan will be the highest revenue earners by the end of the forecast period.

Although the more convenient long-acting GHs are expected to markedly change the GHD treatment landscape and eventually replace daily GHs, market growth will be restricted due to payer preferences, which will continue to heavily influence the market share of GHs, particularly in the US.

Based on payer interviews, GlobalData expects that the uptake of long-acting GHs will be influenced by the rebates that distributers provide to the payers. This will keep the prices of these drugs in check, close to the prices of the daily injectable GHs. Nevertheless, the expected increase in compliance with and adherence to the long-acting GH drugs, together with an increase in awareness and diagnosis of the disease, will raise the number of the treated patient population during the forecast period, leading to an increase in sales across the 7MM.