Cancer biotherapy market set to boom

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

While traditional cancer treatments currently have the lion's share
of the market, a new wave of immunological and biotherapy
treatments are set to take the industry by storm, predicts new
market research.

According to a report from Kalorama Information released recently, the immunotherapy and biotherapy cancer market, although well established with several blockbuster drugs, has enormous room for growth and is expected to reach $42bn (€31bn) in sales by 2011 - almost 50 per cent of the total cancer market. In 2006, it was worth an estimated $14.6bn. In addition, Kalorama estimates that, while traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation currently dominate the market, the potential global market for those up and coming types of therapies will exceed $60bn within the next ten years. According to the report called Monoclonal Antibodies, Vaccines and Other Immunologic Cancer Treatments: World Market, the success of biologic-based anti-cancer products, such as Genentech's Rituxan (rituximab), Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin (bevacizumab) and Novartis' blockbuster Gleevec (imatinib), has paved the way of newer therapies which are expected to show strong competitiveness and great market potential in an already strong market. Rituxan, for example, which is which is co-marketed in the US by Genentech and Biogen Idec and in Europe as MabThera by Roche, generated global sales of more than $3bn in 2006. In addition, nearly 80 cancer immunotherapy products are currently in late stage development for various cancer treatments, while a few high-profile therapies recently Merck's Gardasil (Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (Types 6, 11, 16, 18) Recombinant Vaccine) and Dacogen (decitabine), which were recently approved. Gardasil received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval last June as a vaccine against certain types of cervical cancer, a cancer often caused by HPV, while Dacogen for Injection is a treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). "In every corner of the world these newer therapies are gaining wide acceptance, with the greatest revenues tracking in the lymphoma and breast cancer segments,"​ said Melissa Elder, the report's author. "We except to see breast cancer, due to high incidence rates worldwide, as well as other cancers such as cervical, lung, and multiple myeloma which have only recently begun to benefit from newer immunological therapeutics, to be top priorities in the near future." ​ Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the industrialised world and as a result, companies are showing growing interest. Organon recently announced it will partner with US-based Medarex to develop anti-cancer biotherapy treatments. Organon said under the terms of the agreement, the two firms will develop human antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and auto-immune disorders, using Madrex' UltiMAb Human Antibody Development System.

Related topics: Drug Delivery

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