GBI ResearchThe Asia-Pacific (APAC) Alzheimer’s disease market will grow from $3 billion in 2014 to $5.1 billion in 2021, representing a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.9%, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company’s latest report states that the main driver of this impressive growth, which will occur across the APAC countries of India, China, Australia and Japan, will be rising and ageing populations, as Alzheimer’s disease is significantly more prevalent among the elderly.

Additional market drivers include better diagnostic techniques, improving health awareness, special healthcare programs, health insurance coverage, and increasing treatment affordability.

Gayathri Kanika, Analyst for GBI Research, says: “An example of healthcare reforms is the Japanese government’s recently approved plan to increase the number of nurses and care workers in the country’s healthcare system by 2025, in order to help patients access and interpret information about their health, thereby improving knowledge and diagnoses of Alzheimer’s.

“Across the APAC region, the expansion of health insurance coverage will increase access to healthcare, also leading to a rise in Alzheimer’s diagnosis and higher treatment rates.”

In terms of the current Alzheimer’s pipeline, there are a number of late-stage products with the potential to be approved and launched in APAC countries during the forecast period. These include first-in-class Beta-site Amyloid precursor protein Cleaving Enzyme (BACE)1 inhibitors and passive immunotherapies.

Gayathri explains: “Three important anti-beta Amyloid (Aβ) drugs are Roche’s gantenerumab, TauRX Therapeutics’ LMTX and Merck’s MK-8931 (verubecestat), which are in Phase III development in Australia and Japan, and will capture significant market share in these countries after they are launched late in the forecast period.

“Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (AChEIs), such as Eisai’s Aricept (donepezil), Novartis’ Exelon (rivastigmine) and Janssen’s Razadyne (galantamine), will also continue to capture major patient share across all Alzheimer’s sub-populations in the four APAC countries.”

Despite the success of these treatments, GBI Research states that significant unmet needs will remain for Alzheimer’s patients as there are only a few disease modifying therapies in the late stage pipeline, with currently available therapies only able to treat symptoms of the disease rather than preventing or slowing its progression.