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NEW YORK – September 20, 2017 – Informa Pharma Intelligence, the leading healthcare and pharmaceutical data and analysis firm today released its “Deep Dive: Depression Drug Development” report, detailing the future growth of the US depression drug market. Findings reveal the market is expected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2015 to $7.3 billion in 2024, driven primarily by pipeline drugs from new therapeutic classes including N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-targeting products esketamine (Johnson & Johnson) and rapastinel (Allegran),as well as opioid-based ALKS 5461 (Alkermes).


 The new drug classes are going to upend the overall market, which is widely reliant on sales of two traditional antidepressant classes – the selective serotonin re uptake inhibitor (SSRI) andserotonin-norepinephrine re uptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressants. Overall growth of the depression pharmaceutical market is contingent on the approval, sales and success of esketamine, rapastinel, and ALKS 5461. By 2024, the combined forecast sales of these new drugs will total $4.15 billion, which is greater than the absolute $2.7 billion increase in the wider depression market.   


There are inherently high risks associated with each of the new drugs, which may affect their approval and sale. Esketamine possess similar dissociative effects to the popular recreational drug Ketamine and ALKS 5461 is an opioid-based drug formulation, making both high risk for abuse and addiction, likely placing stricter rules on their release and use. Michael Hay, Head of Intelligence Products for Informa Pharma Intelligence said “Should the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve esketamine it’ll be game changing for the depression pharmaceutical market. It represents a new therapeutic class for depression – rapid onset – which many patients need. At the same time esketamine is similar to Ketamine, and has high potential for abuse. Similarly, in clinical trials, ALKS 5461 has shown significant potential for helping treatment-resistant patients, but the opioid active ingredient in the drug may create undesirable side effects, including abuse and addiction.


As the FDA and others work to curb drug abuse in the US, both esketamine and ALKS 5461 will be greatly debated and scrutinized.”Charting the Future of Key Depression Drugs Overtime, familiar, brand name drugs in the two traditional antidepressant classes SSRI and SNRI are going to lose their market share. While this will mostly be due to generic versions entering the market as patents expire, the addition of new drug classes such as esketamine that provide rapid-onset relief for patients will take market share.Below are the current top-selling depression drugs in the US market and sales outlooks for each, which are all expected to decrease in sales by 2024:


  • Abilify: Abilify sales decreased significantly between 2015 to 2016 – from $729 million to$136 million respectively – due to the introduction of generics in the market. This downward trend is going to continue through 2024, due to both generics and theintroduction of ALKS 5461 in July 2018, which is a better-tolerated option for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.
  • Cymbalta: In 2016 US sales totaled $74 million. By 2024 sales will level out to $37 million, as a result of continued loss of market share to generic formulations.
  • Latuda: Latuda is currently enjoying high sales for depression, but can expect sales to decrease with the introduction of ALKS 5461 and generics in 2018. Sales are expected to peak in 2017 at $392 million and then will see sharp decreases, reaching $58 million in the US by 2024.
  • Trintellix: Trintellix will continue to grow market share, growing from $275 million in 2016 to a peak of $869 million in 2022. In 2022, Trintellix’s patent will expire, introducing generics into the market and causing sales to decrease to $193 million by 2024.


Pending approval, which is expected based on positive clinical trial efficacy results and strong safety signals , ALKS 5461, esketamine and rapastinel are all expected to greatly increase their sales by 2024, owning a high portion of the depression drug market:


  •  ALKS 5461: ALKS 5461 will likely be approved for treating treatment-resistant major depression in the US in July 2018. Sales will leap from $5 million in 2018 to $456 million by 2024.
  • Esketamine: Expected to be approved for the US market in July 2018, esketamine’sunique formula will result in sales jumping from $45 million in 2018 to $2.3 billion by 2024. A strict risk evaluation and mitigation strategy will be required for its prescriptionand esketamine will likely be classified as a Schedule III controlled substance.
  • Rapastinel: Rapastinel will likely gain approval in January 2021. Sales of rapastinel will grow quickly, from $144 million in 2021 to $1.4 billion in 2024. Although rapastinel will be in competition with esketamine it is unlikely that there will be any share-shifting dynamics between the two products and instead, they will both grow the wider depression market as part of a new drug class.


Professional Perspectives Informa Pharma Intelligence’s Datamonitor Healthcare surveyed 238 primary care physicians and psychiatrists in the US, Japan, and five major EU markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain,and the UK) treating patients with depression in November 2015, to highlight the real-world implications of the pharmaceutical depression market. Findings show:


  • Professionals believe 21-41 percent of people living with depression are un-diagnosed, in part due to stigmatization of depression, symptoms that are seen as a normal facet of life as oppose to a medical condition, and a diagnosis is dependent on symptoms with no objective biological test, making the condition difficult to detect.
  • Nearly half of drug-treated major depressive disorder (MDD) patients are unresponsive to initial treatment and end up going through a trial and error process in the quest for finding a suitable therapy.
  • Only 59-79 percent of patients adhere to antidepressant therapy, in part because of intolerable side effects, perceived treatment success, and treatment ineffectiveness,compounding the problem of patient unresponsiveness to initial treatments.



If you’d like access to the full report from Informa Pharma or additional information on the depression pharmaceutical market, please reach out to About Informa Pharma Intelligence Informa Pharma Intelligence powers a full suite of analysis products - Datamonitor Healthcare, Sitetrove, Trialtrove, Pharmaprojects, Medtrack, Biomedtracker, Scrip, Pink Sheet and In Vivo –to deliver the data needed by the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry to make decisions and create real-world opportunities for growth. With more than 500 analysts keeping their fingers on the pulse of the industry, no key disease,clinical trial, drug approval or R&D project isn’t covered through the breadth and depth of data available to customers.   Informa Pharma Intelligence, is part of the wider Informa Business Intelligence brand that provides insight into six core industries - Pharma & Healthcare; Agribusiness & Commodities;Finance; Telecoms, Media & Technology; Maritime & Law; Infrastructure. For more information visit For more information, please contact:Allie Tedone/Danielle CecchiniDiffusion PR+1 646-571- 0120

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