Datamonitor: Diabetes growth won't stop CV, metabolic market slide

Datamonitor is forecasting that the cardiovascular and metabolic market across the seven major markets will peak this year and then begin to decline, with total sales falling from $105 billion in 2009 to $101 billion in 2019. Furthermore, dyslipidemia and hypertension sales are set to become nearly entirely genericized as top brands like Pfizer's Lipitor start losing U.S. exclusivity.

"The proportion of the market composed of branded therapies is forecast to fall and by 2019, generics and biosimilars will contribute 68% of volume sales across the seven major markets, and 28% of sales," says Christine Henry, a healthcare analyst at Datamonitor.

But Datamonitor also points to a range of new therapies will balance out generic erosion of leading antithrombotics made by Sanofi-Aventis (Lovenox) and Sanofi/Bristol-Myers Squibb (Plavix). And in diabetes, a strong pipeline will ensure continued growth; the antidiabetic pipeline is forecast to generate close to $10.3 billion in 2019.

The CDC recently reported diabetes prevalence numbers: 25.8 million people in the U.S. have the disease, 8.3 percent of the population--and nine percent more than officials had expected when they predicted growth two years ago. More than a third of adults at least 20 years old have prediabetes, a big risk factor for full-blown disease.

"Antidiabetics will provide the key growth market in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and by 2019, seven of the top 10 brands will be antidiabetics," Henry adds. "At this point, diabetes will contribute 35% of all sales in the seven major markets, and antidiabetics will generate 50% of cardiovascular and metabolic sales in the key US market, where the other therapy areas are highly eroded by genericization." 
Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest insulin maker, is planning to topple Sanofi's Lantus as the best-selling insulin by marketing its new product degludec to first-time users, as Bloomberg points out.

The company will seek regulatory approval for degludec later this year and marks the second Novo attempt to unseat Lantus. In 2004, the Danish company introduced of Levemir, which had sales of 6.88 billion kroner ($1.26 billion) last year. Revenue from Lantus, Sanofi's best-selling medicine, was €3.51 billion ($4.79 billion) Bloomberg notes.

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