Dragon Final WebThe South-East Asian type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) market, which includes South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, will rise from $1.7 billion in 2015 to $2.7 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1%, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company’s latest report states that as well as the rapidly expanding prevalence population in South-East Asia, market growth will be driven by the increased uptake of recently approved and emerging branded T2DM therapeutics, in favour of lower-cost generic products.

Aswini Nath, analyst for GBI Research, explains: “Unmet needs relating to patient convenience and ease of use will be addressed significantly during the forecast period. Higher levels of innovation are apparent in the early stage pipeline, which may lead to considerable improvements beyond the existing range of products, in terms of safety and efficacy in the long-term. In terms of recently approved therapeutics, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors and SGLT-2 inhibitors have already achieved strong market uptake and are all expected to increase their market shares during the forecast period. In comparison with many previously marketed therapies, these new products provide improved weight control and lowered hypoglycaemia risk.”

In terms of late-stage pipeline products with the potential to change the treatment paradigm, six candidates stand out as offering superior safety, efficacy and patient compliance. These are Novo Nordisk’s NN-9535 (semaglutide subcutaneous formulation) and OG-217SC (semaglutide oral formulation) and Eli Lilly’s Trulicity (dulaglutide), which are GLP-1 receptor agonists, Merck’s ertugliflozin and Theracos’s bexagliflozin, which are SGLT-2 inhibitors, and Merck’s omarigliptin, which is a DPP-4 inhibitor.

Of these products, GBI Research believes that OG-217SC, being a first-to-market oral formulation in the GLP-1 agonist class of drug, has the most potential to change the treatment paradigm owing to its improved administration route compared with other drugs in the same class.

However, Nath adds: “Although increased uptake of branded drugs is expected, metformin – a low-cost generic drug – will maintain its pivotal role in the T2DM treatment algorithm in South-East Asia. Owing to its well-characterized safety and efficacy profiles, wide availability and low cost, metformin will continue to be prescribed as the first-line pharmacotherapy and also remain the favoured option for use in combination therapies.”