Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant hereditary disorder of the central nervous system. The disease results in progressive degeneration of the brain cells. A physician named George Huntington described the disorder in detail as hereditary chorea in 1872. Thus, earlier it was known as Huntington’s chorea or HC. Huntington’s disease usually develops symptoms in adulthood between the age of 30 years and 40 years. In case the symptoms of the disease are developed before the age of 20 years, it is referred as juvenile Huntington’s disease. Both men and women are susceptible to this disease. Studies show that one in every 10,000 people in America has HD and more than 250,000 people are at risk of inheriting the disease from a parent.
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The disease causes a wide range of symptoms in an affected person. Primarily, it leads to difficulty in motor control (movement), cognition (thinking), and behavior. Motor problems include impairments in voluntary movements as well as onset of uncontrolled involuntary jerking. People suffering from HD also have muscle problems such as muscle contracture (dystonia) or rigidity, impaired gait, posture, and balance. Loss of motor control hampers a person’s daily activities and causes difficulty in living a normal life. The disease also leads to speech and swallowing problems (dysphagia). These occur when the centers of the motor or cognitive control responsible for these functions are affected. A significant behavior and cognition disorder associated with Huntington’s disease is depression that results due to brain injury and loss of brain function.
Although medical science has no cure for this disease, the symptoms of this disease can be detected and treated. Drugs to treat movement disorders include tetrabenazine (Xenazine), antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol (Haldol), chlorpromazine, and others. Antidepressants such as escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), citalopram (Celexa), and sertraline (Zoloft) are given as treatment. Development in scientific research has led to increased awareness about Huntington’s disease. This is one of the key drivers for the growth of the Huntington’s disease therapeutics market. In addition, increased prevalence of the disease is a key growth driver of the market. Unmet medical needs have driven scientists and researchers to develop therapy for Huntington’s disease, which in turn is likely to drive the global market. Increased investment by many pharmaceutical companies in the research and development sector to develop innovative and curative drugs for the disease is driving the growth of the global market. Further, alternative therapies, including speech therapy, psychotherapy, and physiotherapy, increase the potential of the market growth for Huntington’s disease therapeutics.
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Geographically, the global Huntington’s disease therapeutics market is distributed over North America, Europe, APAC, and Latin America. North America dominates the global market due to increased awareness about the disease. In the North America market, the U.S. holds the largest market share, followed by Canada. Europe accounts for the second largest market globally. In Europe, countries such as France, Germany, the U.K., and Spain contribute major shares of the market. Increasing awareness about the disease along with growing infrastructure for scientific research is projected to lead to market establishment for Huntington’s disease therapeutics in other parts of the world such as China, India, Japan, Africa, Argentina, and Brazil.
Key players contributing highest market shares include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AmpliPhi Biosciences Corp, Pfizer, Lundbeck, Prana Biotechnology Ltd., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, GlaxoSmithKline, Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Ceregene Inc., SOM Biotech, Siena Biotech, Raptor Pharmaceutical, Palobiofarma, and Ipsen.
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