Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease, affecting around 7.4 million people worldwide. It is caused by the progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra within the basal ganglia. The main motor symptoms are tremors, bradykinesia and rigidity, although symptoms vary between individuals. As the disease progresses to more advanced stages, increasing symptoms and complications develop, which can cause severe disability in patients.
The current market offers a number of anti-PD treatment options which provide symptomatic relief. Levodopa is currently the gold standard therapy, with other drug classes including dopamine agonists and Monoamine Oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitors also used to treat early and advanced cases. With no current treatment showing effectiveness in delaying the course of the disease, PD remains incurable. The high unmet need for a disease-modifying therapy is reflected in the pipeline, where a high proportion of early-stage first-in-class programs target the potential pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration.
PD is a crowded market with many neuromodulatory drug classes available. However, a disease-modifying therapy with neuroprotective effects is yet to be developed.
Analysis reveals a high level of innovation and diversity in the pipeline, with 121 first-in-class programs acting on 57 unique molecular targets.
Neuromodulatory targets remain the dominant target family, particularly in the late-stage pipeline.
Some of the first-in-class targets have a potentially stronger chance of being translated into novel treatments for PD.
Deals involving first-in-class PD products are more likely to be made in earlier stages of development than non-first-in-class deals.
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