Ophthalmology Market Growing, But Eye Drug Earnings Potential Held by Few

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Ophthalmology therapeutics was a $10 billion market in 2011, according to estimates in a report by investment website Seeking Alpha.

Glaucoma and wet age-related macular degeneration sub-markets dominated the larger ophthalmology market with 36 percent and 32 percent shares, respectively, in 2011. By 2018, wet-AMD is expected to overtake glaucoma with 37 percent of the market, while glaucoma shrinks to 23 percent losing out to dry eye syndrome and diabetic macular edema.

Of he six largest ophthalmologic drug companies that control 70 percent of the market, Alcon, which was recently acquired by drug company Novartis, and Allergan have the biggest earnings potential in near-future drug development. Glaukos, the privately held company behind the iStent device for glaucoma treatment, is also promising, according to the report.

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