Dengue treatment market has expanded rapidly over the last few years since the number of people especially among children suffering from viral disease increases considerably worldwide. At present, scientists across the globe are actively engaged in extensive medical researches and experiments by collaborating or associating with various drug manufacturing companies to develop a cure for the disease. For now, dengue treatment is normally conducted with a range of options including medications, supportive care, and vaccinations.

According to a report by World Health Organization (WHO), global dengue cases have increased drastically in the last few decades. The report shows, “the number of dengue cases reported to WHO increased over 8 fold over the last two decades, from 505,430 cases in 2000, to over 2.4 million in 2010, and 4.2 million in 2019… and reported deaths between the year 2000 and 2015 increased from 960 to 4032.” In an average, around 100-400 million dengue infections are reported annually, with severe cases of nearly 500,000 dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). As per the latest report of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD), dengue is a common disease that spreads more than 100 countries around the world and around 40% of the world’s population, which is about 3 billion people are vulnerable with a risk of dengue.

Tropical regions such as the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Africa, and parts of Central and South America are the most susceptible areas to the disease and, thus, most of the cases occur in these regions. As per the data released by the Directorate of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), as much as 136,422 dengue cases were reported in 2019 and nearly 132 people died from the viral disease in India. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) report in 2020, over 1.8 million cases of dengue were reported in the American continent with Brazil alone has 1,195,529 cases, of which 632,209 are laboratory confirmed, representing an increase of 119,338 new cases since last CDTR update.

Dengue Fever and its Brief History

Dengue fever, also known as break bone fever, is a mosquito-borne disease or flu-like illness caused by the dengue virus (DENV). This is a highly infectious disease, which can spread from one infected person to a healthy person when an Aedes mosquito carrying the virus bites the healthy person. There are four distinct (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4) but are related virus serotypes that can cause the fever from mild to severe type in forms of dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). While many DENV infections cause only mild fever, DENV can cause an acute flu-like illness that occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication, called severe dengue.

Likewise other fever types, dengue fever has common symptoms such as headache, muscle, bone and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, swollen glands, and rash. So, sometimes it is difficult to identify the type of fever among children in the initial stage but dengue fever causes a fever of 104 F degrees along with at least two of these symptoms. This disease is mainly found in the tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Moreover, the disease is widespread throughout the tropics, with local variations in risk influenced by rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, and unplanned rapid urbanization.

The origin of the disease can be traced back to the early age; however the first dengue-confirmed epidemic had occurred in the late 18th Century. An American physician, Benjamin Rush coined the term “break bone fever,” to explain the type of fever in 1779 describing the symptoms of myalgia and arthralgia. In 1780s, a widespread dengue fever had occurred in many parts of the world almost simultaneously in Asia, Africa, and North America. However, the existing viral name of the disease was introduced in the 20th Century and the disease had a major global impact during the Second World War (1939-1945).

The evidence of severe dengue was confirmed in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. Today, severe dengue that possess a higher risk of death has largely affected in many Asian and Latin American countries; and it is also the major reason for causing hospitalization and death among children in these regions.

Market Development of Dengue Treatment

For now, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever or severe dengue and in general, the treatment of this fever involves the use of pain relievers with acetaminophen or paracetamol (Tylenol). Since the body of the patients often dehydrate due to the frequent vomiting or high fever, doctors mostly recommend to drink plenty of fluids to the patients to avoid dehydration of the body and take rest as much possible.

Over the years, several drug makers have invested a huge funding for extensive researches with an aim to develop a cure for the high-transmissible disease. Some of the leading competitors for the global dengue Treatment market include Sanofi SA (France), Johnson and Johnson Services Inc. (US), F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Switzerland), Merck & Co. Inc. (US), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (India), Hawaii Biotech Inc. (US), Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. (India), Cerus Corporation (US), Abbivax (France), Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. (Japan), GlaxoSmithKline plc (UK), VabioTech (Vietnam), Geneone Life Sciences Inc. (South Korea), and Novo Nordisk A/S (Denmark).

Many of these drug manufacturers entered collaboration and partnership, merger & acquisition, expansion of their production units in other areas, and involved in product launch to expand their portfolio in the global market, which in turn, lead to the development of dengue treatment market. Some of the major developments in the market are as follows:

  • COLLABORATION

  1. In August 2013, Johnson and Johnson Services Inc. (J&J) collaborated with a UK-based biotechnology nonprofit organization, The Wellcome Trust, for the development of prevention and treatment therapies for dengue fever. The Trust, which was founded in 1936, is a research-charity based in London that widely provides funding to improve human health.

  2. In May 2016, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (Sun Pharma) entered a collaboration with a research institute based in New Delhi, International Centre of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to conduct researches and develop drug for dengue treatment.

  3. In December 2018, Merck & Co. Inc., and a Sao Paulo-based research institute, Instituto Butantan, entered into a collaborative agreement to develop vaccines for the disease. With their relentless efforts, they have received a license for certain rights from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under the aegis of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the development of live attenuated tetravalent vaccines (LATVs).

  • PRODUCT LAUNCHES

The first dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia (CYD-TDV) developed by Sanofi Pasteur Inc. (Sanofi Pasteur), was registered in Mexico in December 2015. The vaccine has been evaluated widely and was entering in Phase III clinical studies. Some of the major products launched and developments can be illustrated as follow:

  1. In May 2019, Sanofi SA announced that its subsidiary, Sanofi Pasteur received approval from the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Dengvaxia (Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine, Live). The product was mainly aimed at the prevention of dengue disease caused by serotypes 1–4 of the virus in children with the age group from 9 to 16 years in the US. The FDA approval of Dengvaxia proves to be a major step for the dengue patients in the US.

  2. In July 2019, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. announced that it was developing Dengushield, a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of dengue fever, which is currently ongoing in phase l clinical trial. This biological drug represent a key development for dengue treatment in India and world.

Meanwhile, there are some key challenges to dengue vaccine development. One of the major setback is that the viral infection is varied between 1-4 serotypes and a vaccine can protect from re-infection from the same virus type but it cannot prevent from other secondary virus infections. Therefore, vaccine development focuses on the generation of a more-advanced vaccine aimed at providing long-term protection against all virus serotypes, given the complexities involved in specific targets of dengue.

Current Industrial Trend and Opportunities

As per a detailed report published by Growth Market Reports, the global dengue treatment market was valued at USD 296 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 727 million by 2027 expanding at a CAGR of 13.3 % during the forecast period, 2021-2027. Among several factors, expansion of government funding across countries to fight the disease and growing awareness about medical facility for the disease treatment represent major drivers for the market growth. Moreover, unplanned urban overpopulation of areas often lead to certain problems such as inadequate housing and public health systems, lacking of a proper water, sewerage, and waste management, which raise the chance for mosquito breeding. Factors such as climate change and viral evolution (increased virus transmission has been linked to El Nino conditions) play key roles for the expansion of the market for dengue treatment.

Nevertheless, high cost of the treatment and lack of technical experts in the field especially in developing countries present key setback for the market growth. Moreover, the strict regulations of governments in approval of vaccines represents a crucial factor that can hinder the market growth.  

In type of treatment, the vaccine segment is currently dominating the global market for dengue treatment and is estimated to witness at a significant CAGR of around 27.5% during the forecast period. In addition, the clinics segment is the leading the market share contribution and is expected to expand at a CAGR of around 22% over the forecast period.

Increase in diagnostic testing represent another key factor for the market expansion during the forecast period. The most widely used method for diagnosing dengue is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) which measures anti-DENV IgM or IgG antibodies in patient serum. The ELISA is capable of detecting NS1 antigens and differentiating among the four dengue virus serotypes. The early diagnosis and management of dengue help to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates of severe forms of dengue disease as well as decrease the risk of wider outbreaks.

Regional Performance and Emerging Markets of the Treatment

Asia Pacific dominated around half of the global market share in 2019 due to the rapid increase in prevalence of dengue in the region. Evaluating the current trend of the market, the region is expected to witness at a CAGR of 14.0 % during the forecast period as the emerging economies such as India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are currently facing a surge of dengue cases considerably over the recent years. In India, there have been more than 300 percent hike in the dengue cases since 2009 and even the total number of deaths in 2017 was the highest in the last decade. Since the region is leading the global dengue testing market as there are millions of cases of dengue infection every year, the market for dengue testing in the region is thus expanding at a fast pace on account of the rising incidence of infectious diseases, including dengue, in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

North America is also witnessing a surge of revenue for the market and is anticipated to grow with a modest CAGR of around 18% during the forecast period. Markets growth in the regions are stimulated by factors including high government expenditure, increasing research and developmental activities, and presence of an advanced healthcare infrastructure. Besides that, the region represents a key hub for the growth of the dengue vaccine market.

Furthermore, dengue fever is most common in the Southern American countries and the numbers of the patients suffering from the disease has been increasing rapidly over the last few years. Therefore, market in the region is anticipated to boost significantly in the coming years. According to the 2020 report of the PAHO, out of the total reported 1.8 million suspected and confirmed dengue cases; 803,784 were laboratory confirmed and 655 death, in the American region. Among countries in the region, Brazil has 1.19 million cases and 632,209 are laboratory confirmed, Paraguay with 219,913 cases and 59,423 are confirmed, Bolivia with 82,793 and 14,697 are confirmed, and Argentina with 79,775 and 50,385 are confirmed.

COVID-19 Impact

The ongoing COVID-19 and its impact have crippled many industries worldwide. Emergency lockdowns that forced to shut several business operations across the globe have affected the global economy, which results in disruptions of the global supply chain for various industries. Evaluating the possible scope of the pandemic impact, the market for dengue treatment is expected to witness a decline of over 0.6% between 2019 and 2020. The shutdown of production activities, restrictions on transportation activities, and temporary decline in demand for dengue treatments are some of the prime reasons responsible for this market trend.

Meanwhile, many of these drug-makers are currently engaged in medical researches for developing various COVID-19 vaccines. For instance, in February 2020, J&J announced that its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical Co. is further accelerating its investigational coronavirus vaccine program by collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the US Department of Health & Human Services.

Conclusion

The global dengue treatment market is rapidly growing industries and a thousand of new cases have been recorded during the pandemic across several regions. For instance, emerging economies such as Brazil and India are currently facing dengue fever beside the hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Brazil Health Ministry, the number of possible dengue cases increased by almost 19% from 79,131 between December 29 and February 01 in 2019 to 94,149 in the same period in 2020. With this trend, the market for dengue treatment is indicating a promising future and offering a range of lucrative opportunities for investment.