Rare Diseases and Pipeline

Cushing's Disease

In addition to acromegaly, somatostatin analogues have also been approved for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours and Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s disease is typically caused by a benign pituitary tumour that secretes adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH). This in turn stimulates cortisol secretion from the adrenal gland. These patients are believed to have a mortality risk five times that of the general population, with cardiovascular events being the primary cause of death. According to Strongbridge BioPharma, an estimated 25,000 patients in the US and 40,000 patients in Europe are currently diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome of which 70-80% have Cushing’s disease. Patients are most commonly adults aged 20 to 50 and five times more women than men are affected. However, endogenous Cushing’s syndrome is believed to be underdiagnosed due to lack of disease recognition by the treating physician, which often leads to a delay in diagnosis of six years on average.

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