Acoustic neuroma, also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a rare benign schwann cell tumor. It is usually a slow-growing tumor that develops on the main (vestibular) portion of the eighth cranial nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. Acoustic neuroma is not malignant and does not spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, symptoms are often subtle and may take many years to develop. The common signs and symptoms of the condition are dizziness, hearing loss and ringing in the ears, unsteadiness, and loss of balance. As the tumor grows, it may cause more noticeable or severe signs and symptoms. Acoustic neuromas are diagnosed in 2,000 to 3,000 people annually, an incidence of 1 per 100,000 per year.
Treatment of acoustic neuroma presents certain barriers that are anticipated to hamper the acoustic neuroma market. Acoustic neuroma is a relatively rare disease and still remains under-researched, with diverse etiologies that are poorly understood. This means that diverse treatment options are required. It also presents a challenge for patient enrollment in clinical trials. The current drug pipeline candidates will be a welcome addition to the treatment landscape for acoustic neuroma patients. However, they have yet to receive approval, and a cure for acoustic neuroma remains to be found. The second major barrier is that the current treatment options for acoustic neuroma patients are widely generalized, they provide very cost-effective treatment options. Today, health care providers are increasingly focused on the cost-effectiveness of drug treatments, especially in the EU. This could make it difficult for the more expensive new products to gain market approval. There are currently no approved treatment options for acoustic neuroma patients. The launch of new therapies is expected to offer patients more treatment choices and expand the acoustic neuroma market, potentially addressing some of the large unmet needs identified.
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The global acoustic neuroma market can be segmented based on disease, treatment, end-user, and region. In terms of disease, the acoustic neuroma market can be categorized into unilateral vestibular schwannomas and bilateral vestibular schwannomas. Based on treatment, the acoustic neuroma market can be classified into surgery, radiation therapy, supportive therapy, and others. In terms of end-user, the global acoustic neuroma market can be segmented into hospitals, diagnostic centers, academic and research institutes, and others.
Based on region, the acoustic neuroma market can be categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe accounted for a major share of the acoustic neuroma market. According to a Research Office Legislative Council Secretariat report, there are over 30 million people suffering from rare diseases in the U.S. Strong focus on research and development and government aid to promote R&D such as research grants, tax credits, and fee waivers contribute to the expansion of the market.
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Europe accounted for a prominent share of the orphan drugs sector. According to the Research Office Legislative Council Secretariat report, in 2015, between 25-30 million people were suffering from rare diseases in the European Union. Incentives offered to promote the manufacture of orphan drugs in the region, such as 10-year period of marketing exclusivity, research grants, and reduced fees for marketing authorization applications, boost the acoustic neuroma market. Over 1,805 drugs have been granted orphan drug status in the European Union, and over 128 drugs were granted marketing authority from 2000 to 2016. For instance, in December 2017, PLX-100, a Polaryx Therapeutic drug, received orphan drug designation from the U.S. FDA for the treatment of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs).
Players operating in the global acoustic neuroma market are Genentech, Inc., MED-EL, GlaxoSmithKline plc., Novartis AG, Shandong Simcere-Medgenn Bio-pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, and AstraZeneca.