Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and muscle strength as a person reaches age thirty or more, in response to aging, affecting the level of activity and quality of life. It has been identified in three stages in older people: presarcopenia-loss of muscle mass, sarcopenia-loss of muscle which can affect either physical performance or physical strength, and severe sarcopenia-loss of muscle mass that affects both physical performance and strength. According to The Sports Journal, it has been found that approximately 0.5% to 1.0% muscle mass is lost every year after the age of 70. This loss of muscle mass is reported as 4.7% decrease in men and 3.7% decrease in women per decade. This loss of muscle mass leads to decrease in muscle function with increased chances of functional impairment, disability, and mortality in the elderly. In the year 2000, the cost attributed to sarcopenia was 1.5% of the total healthcare expenditure. It was estimated that 10% reduction in the occurrence of sarcopenia could save US$ 1.1 billion worth healthcare expenditure. Identification of sarcopenia can be done through numerous techniques to measure muscle mass, involving chemical composition, imaging (computed tomography [CT], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry [DXA]), anthropometry or hydrostatic weighing. Amongst these, DXA is the most preferred technique.
To overcome the symptoms of sarcopenia, an individual has to routinely do weight lifting and strength building exercises. Progressive Resistance Training (PRT) is the most suitable exercise in this condition and it should be performed as the primary action for the treatment of sarcopenia. The sarcopenia treatment market is forecasted to grow in the future as a result of increasing rate of obesity throughout the world as obesity disturbs the metabolic function of the body. According to NIH, almost 3 of 4 people are deemed to be obese. The prevalence of obesity is similar in men and women (about 36 percent). Currently, sarcopenia treatment comprises only off label and generic drugs like estrogen, progesterone, and some growth hormones. There are no promising drugs in the pipeline for the treatment of sarcopenia. Therefore, the global sarcopenia treatment market is forecasted to see sluggish growth due to unavailability of new drugs in the near future. Despite low market assessment, pharmaceutical companies such as GSK and Five Prime Therapeutics have signed a collaboration agreement to develop therapies for sarcopenia. They are focused on developing a new class of drugs called SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) to prevent and treat muscle wasting or muscle loss conditions like chronic sarcopenia and cancer.
Increased aging and obesity are the driving factors responsible for the growth of the sarcopenia treatment market. Furthermore, lack of a permanent cure for the treatment of sarcopenia, increased R & D development through government policies, changes in disease management etc. are factors anticipated to drive the growth of the sarcopenia treatment market.
Geographically, the sarcopenia treatment market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan), and the Middle East & Africa. North America followed by Europe has the largest market share owing to the availability and affordability of expensive tests and therapies in this region. Rising population, increased research activities, and awareness in developing countries such as India and China are the factors contributing to the growth of the sarcopenia treatment market in Asia.
The major players in the global sarcopenia treatment market are GlaxoSmithKline, Radius Health, Inc. and Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. who are involved in the development of SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) class of drugs.
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