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Pain: GPCR and Nerve Growth Factor-Based Therapies Offer Strong Potential in Difficult-to-Treat Subtypes

Pain: GPCR and Nerve Growth Factor-Based Therapies Offer Strong Potential in Difficult-to-Treat Subtypes


The pain therapeutics market has been largely characterized by only incremental product innovation over the last decade, as most market segments continue to be dominated by long-established active pharmaceutical ingredients and mechanisms of action. The moderate-to-severe pain space continues to be dominated by opioids, which are increasingly being reformulated to offer abuse resistance, whereas mild pain is effectively treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, significant unmet needs remain, as chronic pain subtypes-particularly neuropathic pain-do not respond well to existing therapies. This report assesses first-in-class innovation across the pain pipeline.


  • There are 909 pipeline programs in active development for pain. What proportion of these products are first-in-class? How does first-in-class innovation vary by development stage and molecular target class?
  • The market for pain treatment is heavily saturated. Which drug classes are used to treat pain? How do the drug classes in the market compare with those in the pipelines?
  • Which molecular target classes are prominently represented in the first-in-class pain pipelines? Which first-in-class targets have been identified as most promising for the treatment of pain? Which first-in-class products have prior deal involvement?
Reasons to buy
  • Understand the current disease landscape with an overview of etiology, pathophysiology, disease classification and staging systems and epidemiology for major pain subtypes.
  • Visualize the composition of the pain market in terms of dominant molecule types and molecular targets. This knowledge allows a competitive understanding of gaps in the current market.
  • Analyze and compare the pain pipeline and stratify by stage of development, molecule type, and molecular target.
  • Assess the therapeutic potential of first-in-class targets. Using a proprietary matrix, first-in-class products have been assessed and ranked according to clinical potential. Promising first-in-class targets have been reviewed in greater detail.
  • Recognize commercial opportunities by identifying first-in-class pipeline products for pain that have not yet been involved in licensing or co-development deals, and by analyzing company strategies in prior deals through case studies of key deals for first-in-class pain products.

  • Pain: Executive Summary
    • Substantial Unmet Needs Remain in Core Therapy Types
    • Highly Diversified Range of Innovative Programs in the Early Pipeline
  • Introduction
    • Catalyst
    • Related Reports
  • Disease Overview
    • Etiology and Pathophysiology
      • Etiology
        • Table Etiology of Chronic Pain
      • Pathophysiology
    • Classification
      • Table Classification of Pain
    • Sustained Innovation in Pain
    • Epidemiology for Pain
      • Fibromyalgia
        • Table Fibromyalgia, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2013–2023
      • Migraine
        • Table Migraine, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2016–2026
      • Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
        • Table Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2016–2026
      • Trigeminal Neuralgia
        • Table Trigeminal Neuralgia, Total Prevalent Cases, millions (N), 2012–2022
    • Overview for Marketed Products
      • Table Figure 1: Pain, Global Market by Molecular Target and Molecule Type, 2019
  • Assessment of Pipeline Product Innovation
    • Overview
    • Pipeline by Stage of Development and Molecule Type
      • Table Figure 2: Pain, Global, Pipeline by Stage of Development and Molecule Type, 2019
    • Pipeline by Molecular Target
      • Table Figure 3: Pain, Global, Pipeline by Molecular Target and Stage of Development, 2019
    • Comparative Distribution of Programs Between Pain Market and Pipeline by Therapeutic Target Family
      • Table Figure 4: Pain, Global, Distribution of Pipeline and Marketed Products by Molecular Target Class, 2019
    • Comparative Distribution of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Pipeline Programs by Molecular Target Class
      • Table Figure 5: Pain, Global, Distribution of Pipeline Products by First-in-Class Status and Molecular Target Class, 2019
      • Percentage Distribution of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Pipeline Programs
        • Table Figure 6: Pain, Global, Percentage Distribution of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Products by Stage of Development and Molecular Target Class, 2019
    • Ratio of First-in-Class Programs to First-in-Class Molecular Target Within the Pipeline
      • Table Figure 7: Pain, Global, Ratio of First-in-Class and Non-First-in-Class Products to First-in-Class Targets by Stage of Development and Molecular Target Class, 2019
  • First-in-Class Molecular Target Evaluation
    • Overview
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Neurotensin Receptor 1
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Matrix Metalloproteinase-9/2
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Beta Nerve Growth Factor
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide Type I Receptor
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Interleukin-1 Receptor Type 2
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 7
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Type 4
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting P2X Purinoceptor 7
    • Pipeline Programs Targeting Potassium Channel Subfamily K Member 2
  • Key Players and Deals
    • Overview
      • Eli Lilly's Co-Development Deal with Pfizer for Tanezumab
      • Allergan Enters into Licensing Agreement with Merck to Secure Two Migraine Drugs
      • Regeneron's Co-Development Agreement with Teva for Fasinumab
  • Appendix
    • Bibliography
    • Abbreviations
    • Methodology
      • Market Analysis
      • Overall Pipeline Analysis
      • First-in-Class Pipeline Analysis
      • First-in-Class Matrix Assessment
      • First-in-Class Molecular Target Evaluation
      • Key Players and Deals
    • About the Authors
      • Analyst
      • Therapy Area Director
      • Global Director of Therapy Analysis and Epidemiology
      • Global Head and EVP of Healthcare Operations and Strategy
    • About GlobalData
    • Contact Us
    • Disclaimer

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