Fibromyalgia therapeutic pipeline is expected to experience a positive trend in the coming years. Prevalence of fibromyalgia is increasing due to very large number of patients suffering from lifestyle disease, psychological stress, trauma, tension, headaches, anxiety and depression. Some of the significant factors driving the pipeline for fibromyalgia include rising prevalence of fibromyalgia and the increasing health awareness among the population, globally. According to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, around 10 million Americans are suffering from fibromyalgia in the U.S. Also, nearly 2% to 4% of world’s population was affected with fibromyalgia in 2015. It is more prevalent in women than in men. The risk factors of developing fibromyalgia include family history and other disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Fibromyalgia is a disease that affects muscles and soft tissues in the body. It is believed that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way brain processes signals. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, excessive pain and cognitive difficulties. Fibromyalgia is usually associated with other diseases including irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint disorders, anxiety and depression. The causes of fibromyalgia can be physical or emotional trauma, genetic factors and infections. The complications that occur due to having fibromyalgia include pain and lack of sleep that can interfere with the ability to function at home or at work. Fibromyalgia can be easily diagnosed by blood tests that include complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, cyclic citrullinated peptide test, rheumatoid factor and thyroid function tests. The treatment of fibromyalgia include self-care and medications. Medications for relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, antidepressants namely; duloxetine and milnacipran and anti-seizure drugs namely; gabapentin and pregabalin. The therapies which can improve fibromyalgia condition include physical therapy, occupational therapy and counselling. Physical therapy helps in improving strength, flexibility and stamina while occupational therapy helps to make adjustments in work area. There are other alternative treatments that are also present for treating fibromyalgia, such as, acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga.
Many companies are developing drugs for fibromyalgia which have shown promising results in clinical trials. Astellas Pharma, Inc. is developing a drug by the name of ASP-8062 for the improvement of fibromyalgia. ASP-8062 is being developed as a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) B receptor modulator. It is currently in Phase II stage of development. Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd. is currently developing DS-5565, which is in Phase III clinical trial. It is being developed as a small molecule which acts as a CACNA2D1 protein modulators. Merck & Co. Inc. is developing mirtazapine for fibromyalgia patients. It is currently in Phase II stage of development and acts as an alpha 2 adrenergic receptor antagonists. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is in process of developing ZYN 001, that acts as a cannabinoid receptor agonists for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of fibromyalgia therapeutics include Intellipharmaceutics International, Inc., Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd., KPI Therapeutics, Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., Theravance Biopharma Inc., Pfizer Inc., Astellas Pharma, Inc., Immune Therapeutics, Inc., Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vitality Biopharma, Inc.