Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a rare form of chronic allergic inflammatory disorder that affects the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye and is normally associated with secondary form of keratopathy. Symptom of vernal keratoconjunctivitis involves development of giant papillae, typically in a perosn’s upper tarsal conjunctiva. In certain rare cases, it may develop in the corneoscleral limbus in the conjunctiva. The disease has a seasonal recurrence and normally affects children and adolescents. It predominantly affects boys in the age group of 5 to 25 years and is seen to subside at the onset of puberty; however, cases of VKC have also been reported among septuagenarian patients. Vernal keratoconjunctivitis frequently occurs in arid and warmer climates and is commonly observed in the Mediterranean area, Japan, Central Africa, South America, and India.
A primary factor driving the growth of the vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market is the rising incidence of vernal keratoconjunctivitis and other allergic eye disorders observed across the globe. While vernal keratoconjunctivitis has a low prevalence rate in regions having cold climates such as North America and Northern Europe (of around 1 in 5000 eye disease cases), it has a relatively high frequency in other parts of the world with warm and arid climates. In tropical regions, such as India and Sub-Saharan Africa, VKC accounts for 3% of serious ophthalmic diseases. Rising prevalence of the disease in these regions, coupled with its seasonal recurring nature, is expected to drive the growth of the vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market during the forecast period. Additionally, continued focus of pharmaceutical companies on developing new and improved medication for the treatment of vernal keratoconjunctivitis is also expected to boost the growth of the market. For instance, in July 2017, Santen SAS announced that it had received the positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Human Medicinal Products (CHMP), recommending the marketing authorization (MAA) for ciclosporin (Verkazia), 1mg/mL eye drop to be used in case of severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis in pediatric population. The eye drops were developed using the company’s Novasorb proprietary technology that helps in improving the delivery of ciclosporin into the eye and reduces symptoms of the disease and improves ocular surface damage. Allakos, Inc., a privately-held clinical stage company initiated phase 1 clinical trials for AK002, which is a non-fucosylated immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibody targeted against Siglec-8, an inhibitory receptor selectively expressed on mast cells and eosinophils in patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis. However, strict regulatory conditions and uncertain reimbursement scenario are anticipated to hamper the growth of the vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market during the forecast period.
The vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market can be segmented based on drug type, end-user, and geography. In terms of drug type, the market can be divided into cromolyn sodium, lodoxamide, ciclosporin, emedastine, and others. Based on end-user, the market can be classified into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and ophthalmic clinics.
Geographically, the global vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific dominates the global market due to growing incidence of ocular eye disorders in the region. Asia Pacific is followed by Europe and Middle East & Africa. The vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market in Europe is anticipated to register a healthy growth rate during the forecast period due to launch of new products by pharmaceutical companies for the treatment of the disease.
Prominent players operating in the global vernal keratoconjunctivitis treatment market are Akorn, Inc, Alcon, Allakos, Inc., Allergan, Inc, and Santen SAS.
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