Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involves the chronic inflammation of the colon or large intestine. It causes ulcers (sores) and long-lasting inflammation in the digestive tract and typically affects the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. The symptoms of the condition include dehydration, pus or blood in diarrhea, belly pain, fever, and urgent and painful bowel movements. Though the exact cause of the condition has not been identified, abnormal activation of the immune system in an individual’s intestines leads to ulceration portions and chronic inflammation of the colon. Ulcerative colitis can be classified into ulcerative proctitis, proctosigmoiditis, left-sided colitis, pancolitis, or universal colitis and fulminant colitis according to the degree of inflammation and its location. Inflammation in ulcerative proctitis is limited to the rectum. In proctosigmoiditis, inflammation is observed in the sigmoid colon and rectum. Inflammation from the rectum extending to the left colon takes place in left-sided colitis. In universal colitis or pancolitis, inflammation affects the entire colon. Fulminant colitis is a severe but rare form of universal colitis.
Rise in number of patients with ulcerative colitis globally is a prominent factor driving the expansion of the ulcerative colitis treatment market. According to a report published in the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), around 1.6 million people in the U.S were affected with IBD in 2014, with 70,000 new cases reported each year. Of the total number of people with IBD in the U.S, 907,000 had ulcerative colitis. The number of new cases of UC are reportedly rising rapidly in newly industrialized countries in Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. Increase in use of antibiotics, westernized dietary patterns, rise in exposure to pollution, and improvement in hygiene are some of the factors playing a pivotal role in the increased incidence of UC in developing countries as compared to developed countries. The highest increase in the incidence of these conditions has been reported in countries such as Japan, India, China, etc..
New collaborations and partnerships between biopharmaceutical companies is also helping in providing novel treatment options for the management of UC. In February 2018, Cook Biotech Inc. entered into a new partnership with Regentys in order to develop a new treatment for UC. As per the agreement, Cook Biotech will develop and produce Regentys ECMH Rectal Solution (extracellular matrix hydrogel), a patented and non-surgical hydrogel therapy for patients suffering from ulcerative colitis. In December 2017, Roche announced a collaborative agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for the discovery and manufacture of novel LNA (locked nucleic acid) oligonucleotides used in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases such as UC.
The global ulcerative colitis treatment market can be segmented based on treatment, end-user, and geography. In terms of treatment, the ulcerative colitis treatment market can be divided into
non-surgical and surgical. The non-surgical segment can be further classified into 5-aminosalicylic acid, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and others. Based on end-user, the ulcerative colitis treatment market can be divided into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and clinics.
In terms of geography, the global ulcerative colitis treatment market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominates the global ulcerative colitis treatment market due to a sizeable population with UC along with continued funding for development of new therapeutics for the treatment of the condition. North America is followed by Europe. Infusion of fresh capital by private investment firms in companies involved in the research of innovative treatment methods for UC is likely to propel the ulcerative colitis treatment market in Europe. In May 2018, Sublimity Therapeutics Limited, a specialty pharmaceutical company, announced that it had successfully raised US$ 64 Mn from investment firms led by Longitude Capital, OrbiMed, and HBM Healthcare Investments. The proceeds from the capital raised will be used for the clinical development of STI-0529 for the treatment of moderate to severe UC.
Prominent players operating in the global ulcerative colitis treatment market are Boehringer Ingelheim, Cook Biotech Inc., Pfizer, Inc, Regentys, and Sublimity Therapeutics Limited.