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New Therapeutics and Approval of Cannabidiol Drugs likely to Shape the Dravet Syndrome Drug Market
Date: 1 February 2019

Dravet syndrome, formerly known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), is a severe kind of epilepsy which causes seizures. High fever is usually a trigger for these seizures. It is a rare disorder that affects an estimated 1 in every 20,000–40,000 births. It usually develops in the six month of age. It is caused by loss-of-function mutations in one copy of the SCN1A gene. Patients with Dravet syndrome are not able to produce sufficient levels of functional Nav1.1 sodium channel, preventing inhibitory neurons from firing properly.


The disorder is considered orphan indication. And there are very limited treatment options available in the market. However, several therapeutics for Dravet syndrome are in pipeline. The drugs in development are getting orphan drug designation by FDA and EMA. The Dravet syndrome market in Europe and the U.S. is likely to exhibit significant growth in the next five years due to increasing research and development activities conducted by several companies. Several companies are making alliances for developing therapeutics for Dravet syndrome. Currently, the U.S and Europe are holding the potential growth for Dravet Syndrome market due to increasing R&D into new drug development for Dravet syndrome and approval for these drugs in these regions.


Key players of the market include Zogenix, Zynerba, GW Pharmaceuticals, and OPKO. Currently, only GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex is commercially available. Other players are currently developing their drugs or seeking for commercial approval by FDA and EMA. Zogenix’s ZX008 is expected to penetrate market in 2019 and create competition for GW Pharmaceuticals. Currently, the market is dominated by generic drugs.


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