Epilepsy is a group of long-term neurological disorders that is characterized by recurring seizures. These seizures are episodes that occur when group of nerve cells or neurons in brain sends wrong signals. Seizures could differ from primary generalized seizures to partial seizures depending upon the cause of the epilepsy. Patients suffering from epilepsy may complain about strange emotions and sensations or they may behave strangely. Epilepsy is the fourth most common brain disorder affecting people of all ages. For the treatment of epilepsy, doctors prescribe antiepileptic medicines (AEDs) and the preference for the drug depends on the type of seizures to be treated, age of the patient, part of the brain involved and seriousness of the seizures. On the basis of the available AEDs, epilepsy therapeutics market is segmented into two major categories namely first generation AEDs and second generation AEDs. First generation AEDs consist of following drugs:
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol)
- Valproate (Depakote)
- Oxycarbazepine ((Trileptal)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)
- Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
- Phenobarbital (Luminal)
- Primidone (Mysoline)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
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Second generation AEDs consist of medicines with different mechanism of action than the first generation drugs. This segment of epilepsy therapeutics market consists of following drugs:
- Pregabalin (Lyrica)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Levetiracetam (Keppra)
- Zonisamide (Zonegran)
- Lacosamide (Vimpat)
- Eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom/Zebinix)
- Perampanel (Fycompa)
- Ezogabine/retigabine (Trobalt/Potiga)
- Rufinamide (Banzel/Inovelon)
First generation AEDs majorly carbamazepine, valproate, phenytoin and oxycarbazepine dominates the epilepsy therapeutics market. However, second generation AEDs such as levetiracetam, zonisamide and lacosamide are slowly overtaking the epilepsy therapeutics market due to its improved efficacy and tolerability. Additionally, large number of research and development activities, are going on all over the world for the development of antiepileptic medicines with diverse mechanism actions. As for instance two major players of epilepsy therapeutics market namely UCB Pharma Ltd. and Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has developed brivaracetam and ganaxolone respectively, for treating epilepsy. Both of these drugs are currently under clinical trials and it is expected that these drugs will prove beneficial for epilepsy therapeutics market.
North America leads the epilepsy therapeutics market followed by Europe majorly due to the extensive research and development activities and availability of second generation drugs. Three new AEDs have been approved in U.S. since 2012 including ezogabine/retigabine, perampanel and eslicarbazepine acetate and it expected that brivaracetam will be approved soon. Ezogabine/retigabine and perampanel among these have novel mechanism of action and thus it is capturing good amount of market share in U.S. Continuous increase in uptake of second generation AEDs is also driving the epilepsy therapeutics market in North America and Europe. Asia-Pacific is also increasing at faster pace for epilepsy therapeutics market. High prevalence of epilepsy in India and China, increased penetration due to better market access options in China and expected approval of drugs with novel mechanisms are some of the factors responsible for expanding the epilepsy therapeutics market in the Asia-Pacific region. Conversely, the prescribing pattern of drugs that give preference to first generation AEDs over second generation AEDs is restraining the epilepsy therapeutics market in this region.
Some of the major players in epilepsy therapeutics market include Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Cephalon, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Inc., Novartis AG, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Sanofi S.A. and Shire.