Gene therapy development expected to pick up pace
Ongoing collaborations between different industry players and a buildup of real-world evidence establishing safety and efficacy are expected to drive the growth of gene therapies for neurology indications.
GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Gene Therapy in Neurology’, highlights that, of the 38 pipeline products that are currently in development, 45% are adeno-associated virus (AAV) based delivery platforms. Other types include Lentiviral, which accounts for 13%.
Vinie Varkey, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “A majority of the current pipeline products are in Phase II development and the most common neurology indications - for which gene therapies are currently being evaluated - include Parkinson’s disease, pain and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The dominance of viral vectors is expected to continue as such platforms account for the bulk of these pipeline products, with adeno-associated virus being the most common among the viral vectors.
“In terms of completed, ongoing and planned clinical trials, academic institutes account for 21% of these trials, despite industry sponsors being most dominant. A deeper analysis of these clinical trials also suggest that across most indications, the average trial duration for a viral based product is longer compared to a non-viral based product such as oligonucleotides or plasmid DNA.”
Varkey continues: “There are also challenges associated with the development of gene therapies, most prominent being their high price points. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData highlighted the need to create sustainable funding solutions so that such therapies become accessible to patients everywhere irrespective of where patients are located. In terms of unmet needs, KOLs highlighted the need for a favorable route of administration that is both sustainable in terms of usage of healthcare resources and favorable from a patient perspective.”
While development of gene therapies are expected to pick up pace, the next wave of such therapies are expected to be ones that target diseases that are more frequent.
Varkey concludes: “While monogenic rare diseases are the obvious first-to-go choice for which gene therapies can be developed, targeting more frequent diseases will need a holistic approach in order to address a wider mechanism of action. If gene therapies for frequent diseases do become available, then that will result in a more pronounced effect on healthcare not only in terms of providing better treatment options for patients but also test the ability of healthcare organizations to adapt with high price points of these therapies.”