While the general trend in the US has shown a steady decline in disorders such as stroke (-20%), prostate cancer (-8%), breast cancer (-3%) heart disease (-13%) and HIV (-29%) deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 66%. Without a significant therapeutic breakthrough the human and economic toll caused by Alzheimer’s will become even greater.
By 2050 the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s is predicted to triple from 5.2 million to up to 16 million and the costs of treatment are estimated to be $1.1 trillion. Meanwhile, as more biomarkers are developed researchers are beginning to understand that patients in their mid 30s are already being affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
To date the FDA has approved five drugs that temporarily slow the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in about half of patients for 6-12 months; however, there is currently no treatment that prevents the degenerative process of Alzheimer’s disease.
The market for drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease is clearly untapped while the number of individuals projected to suffer from this disorder is significant. Researchers in the field believe that the most effective treatment will be one that is provided in the early stages of the disease and that can be provided in a sustained fashion for the remaining lifetime of the patient. The therapies that GliaCure is developing may thus be used for treating a single individual for more than 50 years. The market potential for a successful drug for treating Alzheimer’s is colossal.