Since being officially recognized as a distinct eating disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013, awareness of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) has been slowly increasing, but it is currently only properly diagnosed in a small proportion of cases. While BED is highly prevalent, the number of patients receiving pharmacotherapy is severely limited by a low diagnosis rate - estimated to be well under 5% of those living with BED in 2017.
BED has quickly become a drug market ripe with opportunity due to a growing diagnosed patient population - a trend that should be encouragement enough for pharmaceutical companies to begin investing heavily in BED drug development.
James Mather, Pharma Analyst at Publisher, comments:
"Over the next decade, we expect the increasing awareness of BED among both physicians and the general public to drive an increase in the diagnosis rate. The growing diagnosed population, coupled with clinicians steadily becoming more comfortable with pharmacotherapy for BED, will result in substantial growth in the BED pharmaceutical market. GlobalData forecasts that the number of BED patients receiving drug therapy will more than triple over the next decade."
The majority of BED clinical research is currently being spearheaded by academic institutions and most is being funded by national health organizations, as the current size of the drug-treated population severely limits any return on investment. However, there are two notable exceptions: Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dismesylate) was investigated in BED patients by Shire, eventually being approved for BED by the FDA in 2015, and Sunovion’s dasotraline is currently in Phase III clinical trials for BED. Only these commercially funded trials have so far been large enough to provide sufficient results regarding efficacy for regulatory bodies to take note and issue label expansions to include BED.
"While BED pharmacotherapy is currently dominated by off-label therapies that mostly lack BED-specific clinical evidence, the treatment landscape will shift towards products with significant clinical evidence behind them in the coming years, headlined by the approval of Sunovion’s dasotraline in 2020.”