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Development of drugs with novel MOAs marks a shift in glaucoma corporate strategy, says GlobalData

With no new classes of drugs having been developed for the treatment of glaucoma in the last twenty years, the focus of pharmaceutical companies has begun to shift towards the development of glaucoma drugs with novel mechanisms of action (MOAs), and this trend is expected to continue to 2026. The launch of 11 new therapies will drive growth in the glaucoma space, provide more options for patients, and stimulate further competition, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The glaucoma pipeline features 120 drugs across all stages of development, with more than two-thirds of the pipeline drugs being developed in early stage. Small molecules are the focus of drug developers as these constitute more than 68% of the total glaucoma pipeline drugs. According to GlobalData’s latest report: ‘Glaucoma: Competitive Landscape to 2026’ 11 late-stage drug products will launch in the eight major markets (8MM*) during, or shortly after, the forecast period from 2016 to 2026.
Glaucoma is an established indication, with large numbers of treatments that have become available over the years, and as a result the disease is generally associated with low levels of unmet needs. However, some unmet need does remain in this disease area, with most of these generally considered to be for greater patient compliance.
Alessio Brunello, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData comments: “The importance of a greater compliance in glaucoma is reflected in the late-stage pipeline, which contains several products developed to help meet this unmet need. In particular, there are two SR implants, Ocular Therapeutix’s OTX-TP and Allergan’s Bimatoprost SR, which will provide a sustained release of drugs directly into the eye, and avoid potential issues of non-compliance associated with topical drugs. These two products, when they will be launched, are expected to have a significant impact on the glaucoma market.”
The glaucoma market is highly competitive, heavily genericized and dominated by PGA drugs, particularly by generic latanoprost, which captures the largest patient share of any glaucoma drug throughout the 8MM. However, ample opportunity exists for new treatment options to impact the market, as highlighted by a healthy late-stage clinical pipeline.
Brunello concludes: “Even though the glaucoma market is crowded and increasingly genericized, there are opportunities for products that are able to help address existing unmet needs. The first SR implants for glaucoma are set to launch in 2020, and are expected to improve compliance and convenience of treatment in glaucoma patients. However, all developmental implants currently use a PGA as the active component, meaning there is opportunity for further implants that contain other therapeutic classes as the active ingredient, or even an FDC of multiple drugs.”