Vitiligo is a skin condition characterized by white patches on the skin. It is also known as skin depigmentation. In skin depigmentation, the skin’s pigment-making cells known as melanocytes are lost or destroyed, which result into patches. The patches of affected skin appear white and usually have sharp margins. In most of the cases, the patches emerge on the skin, which is more exposed to sunlight. Although the disease can occur at any age, it is more observed in the mid-twenties. Although the disease does not affect the physical health of a person, it creates concerns about physical appearance and ethical identity of the person. The exact cause of vitiligo is not known. It is mostly observed in people with family history of autoimmune diseases.
The global vitiligo drugs market size was valued at US$ 120.6 million in 2017, and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 8.4% over the forecast period (2018–2026).
Vitiligo causes loss of skin color in spots. It can affect the skin on any part of the body, hair, and the inside of the mouth. Treatment for vitiligo can restore the color to the affected spot on the skin. However, it cannot completely prevent skin discoloration. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 2017, the prevalence of vitiligo is approximately 1% in the U.S. and Europe.
Vitiligo is listed among 24 skin diseases examined in the Burden of Skin Disease report commissioned by the American Academy of Dermatology. Moreover, according to reports published by the American Academy of Dermatology in 2017, over 150,000 patient were treated for vitiligo during 2013 in the U.S. According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), in October 2017, an estimated 0.5-1% of the global population was diagnosed with vitiligo. Furthermore, in the same year, approximately 8.8% of India’s population and 0.38% of Denmark’s population was diagnosed with vitiligo.
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Therefore, increasing worldwide prevalence of vitiligo is expected to aid in growth of the global vitiligo drugs market over the forecast period.
However, availability of advanced technologies and alternative therapies for vitiligo treatment is expected to restrain growth of the vitiligo drugs market during the forecast period. For instance, in October 2018, STRATA Skin Sciences, a manufacturer of innovative products for the treatment of skin conditions, announced the launch of XTRAC S3 308nm Laser at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Meeting. The XTRAC S3 308nm Laser is used for the treatment of skin disorders such as psoriasis and vitiligo. The XTRAC laser utilizes therapeutic UVB light for the treatment of affected skin areas without damaging surrounding healthy skin.
Increasing number of initiatives undertaken by various government organizations to develop novel treatments for vitiligo is expected to augment the market growth. For instance, in February 2019, American Skin Association (ASA) announced funding for 18 new grants for skin cancer and disease research. The ASA and its affiliates invested over US$ 50 Mn for the treatment of melanoma, psoriasis, and vitiligo. Moreover, various government organizations are also focused on offering funds to accelerate development of effective treatment options for vitiligo, thereby augmenting the market growth. For instance, the Vitiligo Society in Europe funds research projects with the aim of establishing the real causes of vitiligo as well as developing effective and safe treatments for patients. The Society also supports and closely monitors research initiatives and is supported by a Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel.
Key players in the market are focused on adopting acquisition strategies to enhance their market share, which is expected to augment the market growth. For instance, in 2017, Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. acquired Confluence Life Sciences, Inc., a company focused on development of kinase inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata, vitiligo, and atopic dermatitis.
Major players operating in the global vitiligo drugs market include, Dermavant Sciences, Inc., Incyte Corporation, Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Bristol – Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Inc., Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Applied Biology, Inc., and Boston Pharmaceuticals.
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