Leishmaniasis is parasitic disease caused due to an infection with Leishmania parasites and transmitted through the bite of infected female phlebotomine sand flies. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 7, 00,000 to 1 million new cases and 20,000 - 30,000 deaths occur worldwide annually due to the leishmaniasis. There are three forms of leishmaniasis namely mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis, and cutaneous leishmaniasis. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most serious condition among the other two forms of leishmaniasis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 50,000 to 90,000 new cases of visceral leishmaniasis occur worldwide annually. According to the WHO, in 2015, more than 90% of the new cases of visceral leishmaniasis were from Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, India, Brazil, Sudan, and South Sudan creating higher opportunity for leishmaniasis treatment market. The prevalence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the North and South America, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Mediterranean basin is approximately 95%, according to the WHO April 2017 factsheet. People with leishmaniasis infection develop several symptoms, such as fever, weight loss, sores on skin, nose, mouth or throat, enlargement of spleen and liver, and abnormal blood tests. Some patients show symptoms of anemia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Geriatric population, infants, pregnant or lactating women, and HIV infected people have a high risk of acquiring leishmaniasis infections, due to their weak immune systems.
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Leishmaniasis disease transmission is mostly associated with unhygienic conditions, weak immune system, and malnutrition. Increasing climatic changes and population mobility are other risk factors associated with the leishmaniasis disease.
Depending on the degree of virulence and clinical preferences, the disease is characterized on the basis of the type of species and subspecies of leishmania parasite. The clinical pattern of disease, the geographic regions, and the immunological status of the patient are considered in leishmaniasis treatment. Multiple medical treatment options are available for treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis, which includes parenteral and oral medications, infiltration of sodium stibogluconate at 0.3-0.8 ml, cryotherapy, local heat therapy at 40-420C, and topical paromomycin preparations. Leishmaniasis can be prevented by treating malnutrition, recurrent systemic infection or local infection. Tailored disease management for treating leishmaniasis is expected to have a potential for improving leishmaniasis treatment market in near future.
Introduction of new chemical entity will drive the leishmaniasis treatment market
According to data published in 2017, by Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi’), two new chemical entities (NCE) DNDI-6148 and DNDI-0690 are introduced into the preclinical development stage to treat visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis in 2016. Immunomodulator- CpG-D35, is also in pre-clinical development stage, which will be used as an adjunct along with drug therapy to fight cutaneous leishmaniasis. These advances have the potential to transform drug development into new treatment therapy in near future, in turn driving the growth of leishmaniasis treatment market.
Combined agreement between WHO and Gilead Sciences, Inc. will expand leishmaniasis treatment market
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. signed an agreement to donate 3,80,400 vials of AmBisome (liposomal amphotericin B), extending their previous agreement from 2016 to 2021. The five year collaboration and funding of US$ 20 million by Gilead Sciences, Inc. are intended to provide access to diagnosis and treatment to the populations affected by visceral leishmaniasis in key endemic countries such as Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, South Sudan, and Sudan. Financial contribution made by Gilead Sciences, Inc. helped WHO to expand, control, and reinforce surveillance in many endemic countries.
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Key Players in the Leishmaniasis treatment market
Key players operating in the leishmaniasis treatment market include Sanofi S.A., Sequus Pharmaceuticals Inc., Paladin Labs Inc., Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc., Gland Pharma Limited, and Lifecare Innovations Private Limited.