BURLINGTON, Mass. — An investigational treatment for irritable bowel syndrome could become a blockbuster by the end of the decade, according to a report by Decision Resources.
The report, which the healthcare market research firm said it would publish later this month, found that linaclotide — made by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Forest Labs, Almirall and Astellas Pharma — would emerge as the market leader for IBS and achieve sales of $1.1 billion in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan by 2019.
The drug will benefit from the loss of patent protection and what Decision Resources called the limited efficacy of Amitiza (lubiprostone), made by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Abbott.
The report characterized the IBS market as highly fragmented and underserved due to a high rate of generic drug penetration and the disease's heterogeneity.
“IBS is a highly prevalent chronic condition in the world’s major pharmaceutical markets, but the lack of a biochemical or histological marker for positive diagnosis and incomplete understanding of the disease’s pathophysiology and etiology have resulted in low diagnosis and treatment rates,” Decision Resources analyst Iva Holder said. “The limited number of efficacious treatment options suggests significant opportunity for new IBS therapies.”