The ophthalmology market has experienced relatively little advancement in recent years and, with large unmet needs remaining in this area, there are strong opportunities for more products to enter the treatment space, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.
The company’s latest report states that scientific advancements in this therapy area – which includes glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome – have revealed a broad range of novel potential molecular targets in recent decades, enabling progress in a previously stagnant field. This is reflected by the high number of products in development, with 782 products currently in the ophthalmology therapy pipeline.
The ophthalmology pipeline contains a diverse range of molecular targets and no single target dominates by any clear margin. However, products acting on components of the immune system – largely cytokine and cytokine receptors – and its regulatory signalling pathways make up the largest segment, followed by angiogenesis inhibitors.
A number of novel approaches are being tested across the major ophthalmology conditions, most notably wet and dry AMD, and glaucoma. There are a total of 158 first-in-class pipeline products in development for ophthalmology indications, representing 36% of the 438 pipeline products for which there is a disclosed molecular target.
Current first-in-class approaches to treatment, such as topical nerve growth factor application and slowing of the visual cycle, have being gaining significant traction in preclinical and clinical trials. They appear generally promising in terms of safety and efficacy, and have significant potential to strengthen the treatment landscape for key ophthalmological conditions by improving patient outcomes, as well as representing promising commercial opportunities.
With such promise in the pipeline, the ophthalmology deals landscape is highly active. Many products in the current pipeline have previously been involved in licensing and co-development deals.
These products act on a broad range of molecular targets, and consist of a range of molecule types. This indicates a strong degree of strategic consolidation uptake for first-in-class products in ophthalmology, and a willingness on the part of companies to invest in innovative products.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery