The global herpes infection treatment market is expected to exhibit a promising growth curve in the short-term outlook. Several factors are contributing to the expansion of this market, including the rise in herpes infection prevalence and increased public knowledge about the condition. According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50 million individuals worldwide were projected to have genital herpes caused by either type 1 or type 2 of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) in 2020, with several billion people having oral infections. The asymptomatic nature of the illness contributes to its high transmission rate, creating a significant demand for therapies. Moreover, the prevalence of diseases like diabetes and hypertension, along with unhygienic practices in developing and underdeveloped nations, is expected to positively impact market revenue growth.
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The expansion of research and development (R&D) initiatives is another significant factor driving the industry’s growth. The financial burden imposed by herpes simplex virus infections on healthcare systems worldwide has created a largely untapped market for treating these infections. Massive investments in the research and development of efficient therapeutics are expected to further boost market growth.
One example of such investment is the funding of EUR 2.34 million awarded to Dr. Florian Full by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in February 2021. The funding was allocated for the creation of a novel herpes virus drug at the Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology at Universitätsklinkum Erlangen at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU). Such advancements in research could have a favorable effect on the herpes infection treatment market and accelerate its expansion.
However, one of the main challenges hindering market expansion is the stigma attached to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which leads to product recalls. Overcoming this stigma will be crucial to the growth of the market.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Herpes Infection Treatment Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on various industries, including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Governments worldwide collaborated with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, leading to the development of vaccines and treatment drugs. This increased focus on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry has the potential to significantly affect the herpes infection treatment market as well.
Rising Prevalence of Herpes Infection Driving Market Growth
The global herpes infection treatment market is experiencing growth due to the rising prevalence of herpes infections. In addition to the conventional risk factors, immunocompromised individuals, such as organ transplant recipients and those with HIV/AIDS, are more susceptible to contracting the viral illness. Herpesvirus infections continue to be a significant cause of mortality and morbidity for a substantial percentage of transplant recipients, contributing to the increased incidence of herpes infections.
Emergence of Advanced Treatment Options Fueling Market Expansion
The emergence of innovative therapeutics is a key driver of the global herpes infection treatment market. Although there is currently no cure for oral or genital herpes, better treatments are anticipated to become available in the near future. For instance, Genocea is developing the GEN-003 vaccine, which has shown promise in reducing HSV-2 infection outbreaks and shedding. Research is also being conducted to explore new therapeutic options to improve disease treatment facilities.
Highly Generic Market Poses Growth Limitations
The market’s high level of genericization is a significant obstacle during the projected period. Patent expiration and the subsequent launch of generics have led to the dominance of generic medications in the herpes infection treatment market. These generic drugs are widely used due to their lower costs, which has increased price competitiveness and reduced overall revenue for vendors operating in the branded medication market.
Herpes Simplex 1 Category Dominates the Market
The Herpes Simplex 1 category holds the largest market share, and it is expected to continue dominating the market during the forecast period. The rising prevalence of HSV-1 infection among the population and the increased risk of transmission contribute to the growth of this segment. The rising prevalence of Herpes Simplex virus-1 encephalitis (HSE), a rare neurological condition caused by the virus, is also expected to fuel the segment’s expansion.
Valacyclovir Category to Lead the Market
The valacyclovir category dominated the herpes infection treatment market in 2021, attributed to its affordability, accessibility, and efficacy in controlling outbreak symptoms. Valacyclovir’s higher absorption rate makes it the preferred choice for cold sores, and it has shown similar efficacy to acyclovir in preventing HSV eye disease. Acyclovir is also anticipated to experience significant growth due to its widespread recognition as the gold standard for treating herpes infections.
North America Leads, Asia Pacific Shows Stable Growth
North America is expected to dominate the herpes infection treatment market due to rising healthcare costs, increased use of branded medications, and favorable reimbursement practices. The region’s growing elderly and immunocompromised populations, along with an increase in disease prevalence and public awareness, are driving market expansion. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific market is anticipated to experience stable revenue growth, supported by government measures to increase treatment uptake and expanding healthcare infrastructure.
Key players in the herpes infection treatment market include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Cipla Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG, and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Collaborative agreements and research initiatives between companies, such as Vaccines AB and Redbiotec AG, as well as Pfizer and BioNTech, are aimed at diversifying offerings and developing better treatment options for herpes infections.
In conclusion, the global herpes infection treatment market is expected to witness significant growth in the short term due to increasing awareness, rising prevalence of herpes infections, emergence of advanced treatment options, and dominant categories like Herpes Simplex 1 and valacyclovir. However, the high level of genericization poses a growth limitation for the market. North America is projected to lead the market, while the Asia Pacific region shows stable growth prospects. Collaborative efforts and research initiatives between key players are also driving market expansion.