In diabetic macular edema, abnormal changes occur in the blood vessels of retina. The macula in the eyes contains nerve cells and cones which are responsible for sensing light. These nerve cells lose their ability to sense the light when the macula is filled with fluid. The fluid leaks out in the macula which is the central portion of the retina and can cause visual impairment. The symptoms of diabetic macular edema are image distortion, blurred vision, photophobia, floaters and scotomas. The most common cause of diabetic macular edema is diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is caused due to high blood glucose level for long time leading to damage of blood vessels in retina. The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are eye floaters and spots, blurred vision, eye pain and double vision. Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder which occurs in people who have diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin or when the body cannot use the insulin effectively. Diabetes can cause changes in the tiny blood vessels which nourish the retina.
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Diabetic macular edema can be treated with the help of implants, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, laser treatment, and corticosteroid therapy. In laser treatment the damaged eye tissues are targeted and the leaking blood vessels which hamper the functioning of macula are sealed off. Corticosteroids such as intravitreal triamcinolone are used in treatment of diabetic macular edema. These are used as sustained release therapy. Corticosteroids stop macrophages from releasing angiogenic growth factors. They also down-regulate intercellular adhesion molecule-1 which is responsible for intervene leukocyte adhesion and transmigration. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents such as aflibercept, ranibizumab and bevacizumab are also used to treat diabetic macular edema. They bind to vascular endothelial growth factor and decrease angiogenesis and vascular permeability which lead to reduction in diabetic macular edema. For instance, in February 2015, FDA approved Lucentis a drug by Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., which is used in treatment of diabetic retinopathy in people with diabetic macular edema. This drug contains ranibizumab which is an anti-vascular growth factor agent. Moreover, implants are also used in the treatment of diabetic macular edema. These implants release corticosteroids such as fluocinolone acetonide and triamcinolone acetonide in a sustained manner.
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The major drivers for the growth of diabetic macular edema market are increase in prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. According to IDF, in 2015, diabetes affected 415 million people worldwide and this number is expected to reach up to 642 million by 2040. Increase in geriatric population is another important factor which will fuel the growth of this market. For instance, according to WHO, in 2015, 900 million people were 60 years of age or older and this number is expected to reach up to 2 billion by 2050. However, dearth of skilled professionals and lack of reimbursement policies can hamper the growth of this market.
The key strategy followed by major companies in the diabetic macular edema market is product launch to gain competitive advantage and more market share. For instance, in February 2015, Alimera Sciences, Inc. launched Iluvien. It is an implant that is used in the treatment of diabetic macular edema. With the launch of Iluvien, Alimera Sciences, Inc. will gain competitive advantage and more market share.
The major companies in the diabetic macular edema market are Bayer AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Alimera Sciences, Inc., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., and Allergan, Inc.
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