The Psoriasis Market

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-infectious, immune-mediated inflammatory skin disorder, characterized by well-defined salmon-pink lesions on the scalp, trunk and extensor surfaces that are itchy and scaly. While the cause of psoriasis is still unknown, there is often a genetic predisposition and it is commonly triggered by environmental factors. Multiple medical comorbidities have been linked to psoriasis, such as psoriatic arthritis, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Psoriasis can range from mild, moderate to severe disease and affects approximately 3% of the world’s population, or about 125 million people, with onset typically between the ages of 15 to 25 years – although psoriasis can develop at any age. The incidence of psoriasis is dependent on the climate and genetic heritage of the population, with prevalence increasing in colder climates and in those with lighter skin. It is estimated that over 9 million people in the US suffer from psoriasis. Recent estimates indicate a global market size of $8 billion for psoriasis, comprising about 34% of all dermatological drug sales.

Topical agents, such as corticosteroids and vitamin D analogues, are typical first-line therapies for patients with mild psoriasis, although side effects are a primary concern for chronic use and these treatments are generally ineffective for patients with more severe cases. The psoriasis landscape is largely dominated by IL-17 targeted biologics aimed at patients with moderate-to-severe disease, with the top four biologic agents generating approximately $6 billion in global sales. Current gold standard biologic therapies are costly and have potential to cause significant side effects, with their longer-term safety yet to be fully classified. Due to the large therapeutic gap between first-line and biological remedies, and the side-effect profile of existing topical agents, the need for safer and well-tolerated medicines still exists.