A major public health issue
Acute respiratory tract infections represent the main cause of acute diseases worldwide and remain the number one cause of deaths in newborns and young children. Respiratory pathogens represent a major public health issue and have a large socio-economic impact, as brought into light by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the globe.
Since December 2019, the life-threatening virus SARS-CoV-2, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), spread across the world at an unprecedented pace resulting in the current pandemic. According to the WHO, as of November 16th , 2021, more than 250 million of SARS-CoV-2 cases were reported worldwide (WHO web site https://covid19.who.int/). Despite the launch of large (but still insufficient) vaccination campaigns since early 2021, and the imminent probable authorization of new oral antiviral drugs, more than five million of humans already died, and millions will probably die in the future with the emergence and the spread of new prevalent variants escaping the immune protection triggered by the currently approved vaccines.
Besides coronavirus, infections caused by several viruses, including influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses, are associated with million of days of absenteeism from work/school and, globally, represent a leading cause of consultations, hospitalizations and deaths in both developed and developing countries.
Up to now, very few efficient vaccines or antiviral treatments have been reported in the medical literature to fight against these respiratory pathogens, with the exception of those available against influenza viruses. However, resistance of influenza viral strains to current antiviral agents, such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) constitutes a growing medical problem.
Each year, worldwide, the seasonal Influenza causes 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. As example, In the United States, influenza infections alone caused up to 710,000 hospitalizations. The estimated total economic burden of flu is $88 billion, which represents around $250/American/year
There is a real need for new antiviral strategies
Therapeutics for respiratory infections constitute a growing market. In an effort to treat these various acute respiratory infection, consumers spend more than $2-3 billion each year.
The Covid 19 treatment market is expected to reach €10 B in 2021. This is without including the estimated € 35 B vaccines market. The therapeutics market for Influenza is estimated to grow from nearly $1 billion in 2014 to nearly $1.3 billion in 2018, with an expected annual growth rate of 8% for the period of 2014-2018. Globally, the expected annual growth rate for the influenza market is of 3,6% for the period of 2016-2021.
The therapeutics market for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RVS; bronchiolitis) was nearly $0.65 billion in 2014 and is estimated around $2.3 billion in 2024, with an estimated annual growth rate of 29.9% for the period of 2014-2024. Globally, the expected annual growth rate for the RSV market is of 14% for the period of 2014-2024.
There is currently no therapeutic strategies available in the market to treat other respiratory pathogens, such as human metapneumovirus or seasonal coronaviruses.
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