osteoporosis bone jointThe osteoporosis market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which covers India, China, Australia, South Korea and Japan, is set to grow from $4.5 billion in 2015 to $7.7 billion in 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8%, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company’s latest report states that this substantial growth can largely be attributed to the rising prevalence of osteoporosis, together with better diagnostic techniques, improving awareness, special healthcare programmes for elderly populations, and increasing health insurance coverage.

Gayathri Kanika, analyst for GBI Research, notes: “The expansion of health insurance coverage in the APAC region will mean a reduced economic burden on patients, and will provide easier access to healthcare, especially for rural residents. As such, the region will see an increase in osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment rates for osteoporosis drugs. Public awareness of osteoporosis has risen during the last few years, leading to more frequent bone mineral density testing, and subsequently increasing the chances of early diagnosis. Furthermore, a number of APAC nations, including India and Australia, have also benefited from increased public investment in basic osteoporosis research funding.”

In terms of new drugs, the late-stage osteoporosis pipeline contains promising anabolic and safer antiresorptive therapies that have the potential for approval and launch during the forecast period. Indeed, following the anticipated launch of anabolic therapies such as novel sclerostin inhibitors and human parathyroid hormone analogs, and first-in-class antiresorptive therapies such as cathepsin K inhibitors, the APAC osteoporosis market is likely to undergo rapid expansion.

GBI Research believes that Amgen’s Romosozumab (AMG-785) is the most promising pipeline candidate because of its once-monthly dose and its ability to significantly increase lumbar spine bone mineral density from baseline at 11.3%, femoral neck at 3.7%, and total hip at 4.1%. It will be the second treatment option for patients undergoing anabolic treatment if approved before abaloparatide, and will address the largest patient subset: post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Kanika concludes: “The release of these drugs is expected to offset the impact of patent expiries on the market, particularly in Japan, where drugs such as Forteo and Boniva are due to expire in 2018 and 2021, respectively, while Viviant and Recalbon/Bonoteo will expire in 2019.”