Drugmakers looking for an area of unmet medical may want to look at the market for coeliac disease, according to a new report.

An analysis by business intelligence specialist GlobalData declares that the disorder is becoming more widespread and the global coeliac disease therapeutics market will be worth $512.3 million by 2017. This figure is set to rise to $664.4 million by 2019, driven by an increase in diagnosis rates.

The report notes that coeliac disease is a lifelong disorder for which a gluten-free diet is the only accepted form of therapy. While safe and effective for the vast majority of the patients, such a diet is "relatively expensive, limits nutritional variety, often restricts social activities and is difficult to maintain".

Therefore, "due to its increasing patient pool and lack of pharmacological therapies, the coeliac disease market has huge potential", GlobalData states. No drug has been approved as yet, however, and the pipeline is described as "weak" in the report.

It currently consists of 13 first-in-class molecules in different stages of development and none are in Phase III. There are two drugs in Phase II - Alvine Pharmaceuticals' ALV003 and Alba Therapeutics' AT-1001 (larazotide).