As the market for lung cancer therapeutics continues to grow, drug manufacturers are competing to find their own niches. Approximately 130 drugs to address small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are currently in several stages of advancement and are expected to enter the market until 2020.
While lung cancer is the 3rd most prevalent type of cancer in the world, there are only 18 drugs available in the market to address the disease. Popular drugs such as Avastin and Almita are close to having their patents expire in 2017 and 2015, respectively.
According to the new Frost & Sullivan’s assessment “A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Lung Cancer Therapeutics Market,” many drug manufacturers are committed to developing and researching new targeted therapies that might replace conventional medicine in the next 10 years. The European Medicines Agency, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FDA Japan, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are highly encouraging investments in targeted therapies.
The market for lung cancer therapeutics is marked with strong competition, especially strong among some of the world’s top firms such as AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck and Roche. AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck and Roche are in particularly close competition and are developing drugs that target the PD-L1 pathway and anapestic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Bristol-Myers Squibb recently became the first company to launch a PD-L1 specific candidate in Japan — Opdivo (Nivolumab).
Sumedha Pareek, the Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst, said in a press release: “However, the development of targeted therapies for mutations such as kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) and BRAF is yet to pick up pace. The market is also in need of cost-efficient drugs.”
Treating late-stage cancer is about 43 percent more expensive that treating the disease at early-stage phases. “For instance, the first-line treatment for NSCLC is typically chemotherapy. This might change with the introduction of Necitumumab by Eli Lilly, at present in the third phase of clinical trials in the US. In combination with chemotherapy, Necitumumab has the potential to be the first targeted therapy used for cost-effective first-line treatment,” concluded explained Pareek.