It is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 90% of diabetic patients, and is associated with severe vascular complications that affect large arteries, leading to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease or peripheral artery thrombosis. The disease also affects small arteries, damaging the kidneys, retina and nervous system. It can lead to chronic renal failure (50% of cases), vision loss including blindness, and neuropathy, mainly affecting sensitivity in the legs (65% of cases).
Type 2 diabetes is one of the world's major health concerns. It currently affects about 366 million people, a figure expected to nearly double by 2030. In the major pharmaceutical markets alone, it is estimated that 48 million adults aged 20 or over had the disease in 2011, a figure expected to rise to 63 million in 2021. The disease impacts industrialized countries most strongly. However, changes in the modern way of life, including in developing countries, have led to a dramatic increase in obesity worldwide, a significant risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes. In Southeast Asia, for example, more than 100 million people are expected to have Type 2 diabetes in 2030.*
The total worldwide healthcare costs of Type 2 diabetes were estimated at $376 billion in 2010. This figure is predicted to rise to $490 by 2030. The disease represents a significant
percentage of countries' healthcare budgets, with the figure expected to range between 7% and 13% in high prevalence countries in 2025. The worldwide pharmaceutical market for Type 2 diabetes, 60% of which is represented by oral antidiabetics, is expected to nearly double from $26 billion in 2011 to $48.8 billion in 2021. In addition to increased prevalence of the disease, greater awareness among physicians and patients and earlier diagnosis are expected to drive growth in this market, as is the introduction of new antidiabetics.
Existing therapies on the market are dominated by a few main product classes. However, all existing products have major shortcomings, and there are significant unmet needs with
respect to long-term efficacy and safety, as well as ease of administration and patient compliance.