Celiac Drugs Market: Absence of Definitive Treatment Indicates White Space that Could be Lucratively Harnessed by Companies

Published On : Apr 02, 2015

Celiac drugs are administered for treating the celiac disease, which is a genetic autoimmune disorder that hampers the body’s ability to break down and digest gluten. Celiac disease is also referred to as gluten-sensitive enteropathy and celiac sprue, and primarily damages the lining of the small intestine of a person suffering from this disorder. Any damage to the lining of the small intestine renders it unable to absorb nutrients from other folate, fat, calcium, and iron. Gluten is a protein that is primarily found in wheat, is also present in rye and barley.

The celiac drugs market is thus dedicated to addressing the many undesirable symptoms of the celiac disease, such as stunted growth, dermatitis herpetiformis, weight loss, abdominal pain, musculoskeletal problems, and iron deficiency, among others. Besides these symptoms, the celiac drugs market also needs to address the more serious health complications that can result from the celiac disease. These include: Infertility, intestinal cancer, seizures, osteoporosis, birth defects, and gall bladder malfunction. Studies have linked celiac disease to several other serious diseases including Type 1 diabetes. 

In Absence of Definitive Celiac Drugs, Prevention Remains Only Way to Avoid Complications Resulting from Celiac Disease

There is a huge opportunity that companies in the celiac drugs market are trying to harness. There is currently no cure for the celiac disease, which means that the first mover in the celiac drugs market stands to gain a massive advantage. The only way to steer clear of the ill effects of the celiac disease is by maintaining a diet that is 100% free of gluten.

Here’s a look at some of the facts about the gap in the celiac drugs market based on fast facts provided on the website of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (these figures were updated in 2014):
  • About 1 in every 133 Americans suffers from celiac disease, which translates into 1% of the American population. The disease affects both men and women irrespective of race or age.
  • Studies show that an alarming 83% of Americans who suffer from celiac disease are actually misdiagnosed or stay undiagnosed. In fact, it takes the average person about 6 to 10 years to be correctly diagnosed.
  • Studies have also shown that between 5% and 22% of all celiac patients typically have an immediate family member suffering from the same diseases
  • The growing incidence of celiac disease has already led to an expansion of the gluten-free market. By the end of 2010, the sales of gluten-free products approximated US$2.6 billion and market watchers expect that by 2015 end, the sales will have surpassed US$5 billion.

The Market for Celiac Drugs will Scale New Heights Owing to Expanding Patient Pool

Currently, the most lucrative region for the global celiac drugs market is North America because the number of people suffering from celiac diseases is high, but there is an absence of effective treatment. There is an increase in the number of celiac disease patients in Asia as well, especially in densely populated countries such as China and India. This presents a lucrative opportunity for the celiac drugs market in the APAC region, especially since awareness is on the rise. Government funding for the development of celiac drugs has also seen an uptick in Asia. 

Most recently, there have been reports about larazotide acetate showing positive effects on people suffering from celiac disease. Currently, companies and establishments such as Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ImmusanT, Alba Therapeutics Corporation, and the Institute for Protein Design are engaged in developing celiac drugs.

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