LONDON, Nov. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly using combination therapy to develop antiviral drugs to boost their effectiveness against viral infections. Combination therapy combines more than one medication for the treatment of the same condition. Combination therapy is beneficial in case if viral organisms like the influenza virus, develop resistance to a particular antiviral drug. However, it takes longer for the virus to develop resistance to a combination of drugs which are used together. In combination therapy, it is ensured that the viral infections are receptive to at least one of the drugs, which terminates replication and suppresses the infection. Combination therapy is especially helpful in the treatment of HIV as they help to combat the other infections which arise out of HIV. In 2018, Cocrystal Pharma, Inc., a biotechnology company which discovers and develops novel antiviral therapeutics, announced a Clinical Trial Agreement for investigator-initiated Phase 2a study of their new drug, CC-31244. This drug in combination with Sofosbuvir (direct acting antiviral medication used as a part of combination therapy to treat chronic Hepatitis C) and Daclatasvir (medication used in synthesis with other medications to treat hepatitis C) will be used in the treatment of hepatitis C.
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Antiviral Resistance Hinders The Global Antivirals Market Growth
The increasing incidents of antiviral resistance is a major restraint on the antiviral drugs market. Antiviral resistance occurs when viruses mutate and adapt to antiviral drugs due to prolonged usage of these drugs. The mutation changes that part of the virus-cell that are affected by drugs, thus causing the antiviral drug to become ineffective against the virus. For example, in June 2017, the WHO (World Health Organization) removed Oseltamivir antiviral drug from the list of its essential medicines due to the drug's low effectiveness. Oseltamivir was used to cure flu virus (Influenza). Similarly, another class of drug, Adamantanes, which includes Amantadine (Symadine) and Rimantadine (Flumadine) were reported by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the year 2017-18 as an ineffective medication, due to increase in resistance by Influenza A strains like H1N1 and H3N2 Viruses.
Antiviral Drugs Market Growth And Market Driver
The global antivirals market was valued at about $38.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $52.22 billion at an annual growth rate of more than 8% through 2022. The increasing incidents of viral infections across the world is a significant driver for the antiviral drugs market. A virus is a small infectious agent which has the ability to invade a host cell and then grow in multiple numbers. Viruses can originate through various sources such as unhygienic living conditions, change in weather, or direct physical contact (body fluids and touch) with any host that is already infected with a virus. According to UNAIDS, as of 2017, 36.9 million people were affected by HIV globally, and out of those around 1.8 million people were affected by HIV in 2017.
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Regulatory Guidelines For The Manufacture Of Antiviral Drugs
The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), provides guidance and recommendations for companies which manufacture antivirals drugs. For instance, under FDA guidance, the drugs for RHL (cold sores) undergo phase I safety studies, after which the proof-of-concept and dose-ranging are carried out in phase II studies. Finally, the drug has to undergo phase III superiority trials, which shows that one treatment is superior to another after which the approval is given.
Companies In The Antiviral Drugs Market Are Investing In M&A
Major players in the global antivirals market are Merck & Co. Inc., Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Roche Holding AG, and Gilead Sciences. Companies have been investing in merger and acquisition activity to strengthen and expand their businesses. Roche, a Swiss based pharmaceutical company, is set to acquire the US based Spark Therapeutics, for USD 4.3 Billion. The deal was expected to be completed in June 2019. Roche, through this acquisition, will try to use gene therapy to develop new antivirals with high effectiveness. Spark, a US based biotechnology company, was founded in 2013 and is widely popular due to its advances in gene therapy drugs.
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