Depressive Disorders: Pipeline Review, Developer Landscape and Competitive Insights

It has been estimated that over 300 million people (considering all age groups) suffer from depression worldwide. Depressive disorders are estimated to be responsible for an economic burden of up to USD 210 billion per year in the US. Since the 1950s, around 30 branded drugs and more than 150 generic products have been approved by the FDA to treat various forms of depression. Despite the availability of generics and other branded drugs, patients have voiced the need for better antidepressants.

I have highlighted below some of the most interesting insights from our study. You can also access additional details here.


Owing to lack of effective treatment options and limited understanding of the disease pathology, depression, a commonly diagnosed mental health disorder, presently imposes a significant burden on the modern healthcare system


44 of depression related drugs were discontinued during phase II as per Roots Analysis

Over the past few years, the depressive disorders market has witnessed multiple clinical stage drug failures; amongst the various reported reasons, inability to achieve specific clinical endpoints was the most common


Type of depression, type of molecule, dosing frequency, action mechanism, route of administration are some of the parameters captured by Roots Analysis in their depressive disorders market report

The current market landscape is fragmented, featuring small companies and established pharma giants, which are engaged in the development of over 65 drug candidates for treating different forms of depression


Several molecules in the development pipeline are in the late stages of clinical development; majority of the drugs are monotherapies and designed for delivery via oral route


North America has almost 60,000 patients enrolled in various clinical trials for depressive disorders across different stages of trials as per Roots Analysis

Although clinical studies are registered across various geographies, maximum number of trials are based in North America; over 70% of clinical trials are evaluating drugs in Phase II / Phase III


In lieu of the growing product landscape, drug developers are putting in significant efforts to ensure that their candidates are clinically and commercially competent


A substantial proportion of partnerships in this domain are focused on digital therapeutics initiatives; with over USD 3 billion investment since 2010, companies have received active support from the investors


Harvey Ball analysis and Roots framework shown for successful drug launch framework

Stakeholders are exploring diverse commercialization strategies across different stages of a product’s launch cycle; with drugs nearing patent expiry, developers are expected to adopt lifecycle management approaches


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