Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and currently incurable autoimmune disease that primarily affects joints. It is characterized by synovial inflammation and gradual bone erosion over many years, and disease progression results in stiffness and pain, especially in the hands and feet, which hinders patient mobility. Without treatment, the disease leads to joint destruction and disability.
Advent of biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD) has boosted the RA market tremendously over the last two decades. Growth is expected to continue at a moderate pace from $5.6 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets of India, Australia, China, South Korea and Japan. Japan accounted for the majority of the market in 2016 with a 65.4% share, followed by China, Australia, India and South Korea with 12.7%, 8.6%, 8.1% and 5.2% respectively.
Recently approved therapies anticipated to have a high impact include Eli Lilly and Incyte’s baricitinib and Sanofi and Regeneron’s sarilumab. Along with recently approved therapies, the entry of new therapies over the forecast period will stimulate market growth. Promising pipeline candidates include Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s sirukumab, and Galapagos’s filgotinib. Galapagos entered into a global collaboration agreement with Gilead in 2015 to develop and commercialize filgotinib for the treatment of inflammatory indications.
The treatment population is set to grow in the five APAC territories, which is a key driver for growth in market size. The loss of the patent exclusivity of major second-line biologic anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapies such as Orencia, Humira, and Simponi in the forecast period is not expected to reduce the market size due to slow generic erosion. However, this presents a major barrier to growth in market size, which is anticipated to be modest in spite of the entry of promising pipeline candidates.