A brief look at the immuno-oncology and generic oncology drug markets—current trends and where future growth might lead
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) leveraged data from GlobalData's Pharma Intelligence platform to generate an update on the state of immuno-oncology (IO) therapy development at the end of 2019, titled “Immuno-oncology drug development goes global,” which was published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. Drug discovery and development efforts in this market have been skyrocketing, the study notes, with 91-percent growth in the preclinical and clinical IO landscape compared to 2017 data.
“The Cancer Research Institute brings to its analyses of the global immuno-oncology landscape deep knowledge of the field curated over more than six decades of funding research in immunology and tumor immunology, which is informed by CRI’s international network of more than 90 leading physician-scientists in the vanguard of this new approach to cancer treatment,” commented Dr. Vanessa Lucey-Hubbard, director of the CRI Anna-Maria Clinical Accelerator and Venture Fund and co-author of the publication.
CD19, PD-1 and PD-L1 remain the top three targets for IO therapies, according to the data, and of those, CD19's growth has been the fastest in the last two years.
“GlobalData believes that the largest increase in new targets of T cell immunomodulators, other immunomodulators and cell therapies besides CD19 is indicative of continuous innovation in developing novel IO therapies,” said Revati Tatake, global director of Databases and Analytics at GlobalData.
The U.S. is leading the pack in terms of the development of all classes of IO therapies combined, with China close behind, though the latter is producing primarily cell therapies. Globally, immune checkpoint inhibitors and other IO therapies are the focus of the more trials than cell therapies, according to GlobalData's information, but the number of trials for adoptive cell therapeutics has been rising since 2015.
Looking at a more specific corner of the market, Persistence Market Research issued its own report at the end of 2019, this one on the generic oncology drugs market. Driven by increased R&D spending by government and commercial organizations and investments in anti-cancer drugs, the generic oncology market was expected to have passed $20 billion for the full year, the report noted. That growth is expected to continue, as well, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 6.7 percent forecasted for small-molecule generic oncology drugs. Small-molecule compounds are expected to outpace large molecules to become a leading modality for the cancer treatment market, due to factors such as oral administration and a greater ability to access intracellular targets for better efficacy. By 2021, the global revenue for sales of all generic oncology drugs is expected to reach more than $23 billion.
“One of the [studies] estimates that notable product pipeline for generic oncology drugs is expected to drive lucrative business opportunities. Moreover, with industry’s pipeline reaching a historic level of late-stage development in 2017, almost 90 percent of the therapies being targeted treatments and clinical success rates going up to almost 73 percent, the market for generic oncology drugs is anticipated to grow, further expanding the pipeline cancer treatment,” explained a senior research analyst at Persistence Market Research.
“Increasing awareness and growing demand for early cancer diagnosis is expected to translate into homegrown generic oncology drugs, thereby presenting revenue generating opportunities for local drug manufacturers. Favorable reimbursement schemes for critical drugs and significant funding for drug manufacturing infrastructure by government and private organizations of emerging economies are some key factors supplementing to the sales of generic oncology drugs. In addition, contract manufacturing initiatives for biopharmaceuticals and small molecules could broaden the future scope of generic oncology drugs,” the analyst added.
While many companies are involved in the generic cancer drugs market, there are a few market leaders; according to the Persistence Market Research report, Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Celgene Corp., Mylan N.V., Merck & Co. Inc, NATCO Pharma Limited and Aurobindo Pharma hold the lion's share of this segment.