GVR Report cover Acne Drugs Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Acne Drugs Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type, By Therapeutic Class (Retinoid, Antibiotic, Combination), By Mode of Administration (Injectable, Topical, Oral), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-440-6
  • Number of Pages: 83
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2015 - 2016
  • Industry: Healthcare

Industry Insights

The global acne drugs market size was valued at USD 4.1 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period. The market is projected to exhibit moderate growth over the forecast period, which can be attributed to factors such as the emergence of biologics, unhealthy lifestyles, and rising disease incidence.

Acne is a common dermatological condition, affecting more than 9.4 million worldwide. Abnormal hormone production is a key causative factor. A rise in androgen (estrogen, in women) levels during puberty trigger the onset of this condition by enlarging oil glands under the skin. This leads to excessive sebum production, which breaks down cell walls in pores leading to bacterial invasion. Although some studies suggest that the risk of developing acne may be increased due to genetic causes, certain factors such as emotional stress, menstruation, hot and humid climate, and greasy cosmetics can trigger the condition.

U.S. acne drugs market

The skin condition was ranked the eighth most prevalent disease in 2015. However, despite being one of the most common dermatological diseases in the world, innovation in this market has been rather limited over the past decade. Most of the novel products are reformulated drugs with improvised vehicles or combinatorial therapies. The treatment algorithm is witnessing a paradigm shift from small molecules to peptides and biologics. Combination therapies have also been gaining popularity over the last few years. Most industry-sponsored products are in Phase II trials.

Failure of pivotal clinical trials for key candidates including olumacostat glasaretil and SNA-001 remains an impediment to growth. Off-label use of anti-acne drugs such as Diane-35 as birth-control measures may lead to serious consequences such as breast cancer and venous thromboembolism (VTE). Additionally, adverse effects associated with these drugs, such as nausea, high blood pressure, and birth defects (as in the case of isotretinoin), continue to restrain the market. Nevertheless, the impending approval of a range of novel products offers a promising future for the global market.

Type Insights

Inflammatory acne is the largest segment by type. The condition occurs when pores are deeply clogged, resulting in swelling and redness. Bacterial infection may further aggravate this condition. Inflammatory acne captured more than 50.0% of the market in 2017, closely followed by comedonal type.

Cystic acne is the most serious form and affects relatively fewer people. OTC drugs are not usually strong enough for treating cystic acne. Post-surgical/wound acne occurs as a consequence of bacterial infection at the site of wound/surgery.

Therapeutic Class Insights

Retinoids and antibiotics remain the mainstay of the acne drug market. Retinoids dominated the therapeutic classes in 2017, closely followed by antibiotics. It is expected that retinoids will prevail as market leaders through 2025, driven by their first-line action and impending approval of pipeline products. Antibiotics are often administered in combination with benzoyl peroxide to prevent antibiotic resistance.

The treatment paragon is likely to shift from monotherapy to combination therapy. Combination therapeutics are gaining traction on account of higher efficacy, improved results, reduced resistance, and convenient usage.

Hormonal agents are generally used in severe cases. Oral contraception is a well-known form of hormonal treatment for acne. This method is often preferred by women who, in addition to suffering from acne, have an interest in contraceptive benefits. However, hormonal therapy is not stand-alone and is synergistically combined with benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, antibiotics, and retinoids. Other agents used for treatment include sulfur, hydroxy acids, BPO, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid.

Mode of Administration Insights

Topical therapies dominated the market in 2017 by route of administration. Retinoids, antibiotics, BPO, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid are administered topically for mild-to-moderate acne as well as maintenance therapy. Oral medications are recommended as systemic therapies after topical treatments fail to evoke a response.

Treatment of severely inflamed or cystic acne may require cortisone injections. The emergence of biologics is likely to fuel the growth of injectables. Gevokizumab (Novartis/XOMA), RA-18C3 (XBiotech), and CJM112 (Novartis) are investigational monoclonal antibodies for acne treatment. All three candidates involve a subcutaneous mode of injection.

Country Insights

U.S. held the largest revenue share among the seven major markets for acne treatment in 2017. It is expected that this regional market will witness steady growth over the coming years, retaining its lead through 2025. Growth will be collectively driven by lifestyle changes, rising disease incidence, and easy availability of products.

Global acne drugs market

Disease prevalence is relatively lower in the EU5 than in the U.S. This could be due to several reasons such as climatic conditions, less active or dormant genes, and dietary habits. It is anticipated that Japan will observe the fastest growth among the seven major markets due to increasing disease awareness, high unmet clinical needs of patients, and rising disposable income.

Acne Drugs Market Share Insights

Key players operating in this market include Allergan, Bayer, Galderma, Stiefel, and Valeant. Valeant dominated the competitive landscape in 2017, by virtue of its wide array of anti-acne products. Valeant is likely to retain its lead in 2025 driven by strong sales of Retin-A Micro, Onexton, and Solodyn, as well as the launch of pipeline products.

Foamix, Cassiopea, and Novan are anticipated to enter this arena, following the launch of their anti-acne products during the forecast period. Sol-Gel Technologies, AndroScience Corporation, and Mimetica are some of the promising companies in this therapeutic space.

Failure in late-stage clinical trials for key candidates stands as an impediment to this market. Olumacostat glasaretil (Dermira), SNA-001 (Sienna), TSN2898 (Thesan), XEN801 (Xenon), and JNJ-10229570 AAA (Valeant) have faced discontinuation in the recent past.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2015 - 2016

Forecast period

2018 - 2025

Market representation

Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Country scope

U.S., U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and Japan

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global acne drugs market report based on type, therapeutic class, mode of administration, and country:

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2025)

    • Comedonal

    • Inflammatory

    • Cystic

    • Postsurgical/wound

  • Therapeutic Class Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2025)

    • Retinoid

    • Antibiotic

    • Hormonal Agent

    • Combination

    • Others

  • Mode of Administration Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2025)

    • Topical

    • Oral

    • Injectable

  • Country Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2025)

    • The U.S.

    • The U.K.

    • Germany

    • Spain

    • Italy

    • France

    • Japan

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