Small molecule oncology drug market to exceed $66bn in 2019

By Maggie Lynch

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/bong hyungjung)
(Image: Getty/bong hyungjung)
A recent study from Fact.MR reported that sales of oncology small molecule drugs are forecasted to exceed $66bn in 2019, up from $63bn in 2018.

The report attributes the expected growth in revenue to a rise in the prevalence of cancer, the additional oncology centers being developed, and the industry’s ability to increase the availability of oral small molecule drugs for cancer treatment.

Additionally, the study added that the market is growing alongside an increase in collaborations and strategic agreements between biopharma companies investing in oncology therapeutics.

Amol Boraste, research consultant for healthcare at Fact.MR, pointed out that there have been an increasing number of pipeline studies and rising R&D funding for the oncology sector that will continue to develop growth in the market.

According to Fact.MR, biopharma companies are most likely to focus on drugs that create tumor visibility to the immune system and therapies that bolster the immune system for multiple myeloma management. These therapies include immune-modulators and tumor-specific cell-surface antigens, which had combined revenue of $13bn (€11.6bn) in 2018.

Boraste told us, “Although large molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, are witnessing superior growth as compared to small molecule oncology drugs, a few factors, such as superior availability of small molecule oncology drugs across all regions, the comparative ease of manufacturing, comparatively lower cost, influence the market largely.”

Within this forecast, there are a number of oncology small molecule drugs expected to receive approval to treat many unresectable cancers, which the report points to as creating a positive growth outlook for the market.

The report adds that orally available cancer drugs will add value to the market, with estimations that this sector will exceed $56bn in revenue in 2019. The demand for such drugs is increasing due to their convenience and effectiveness when compared to injectable small molecule drugs.

In the future, it is estimated that treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are likely to lead the market in revenue and demand. However, targeted therapy drugs will remain the most lucrative drug class in the oncology small molecule market, totaling more than 50% of the sales in the sector and the adoption of these drugs for treatment is expected to grow through 2029.

Sales are expected to remain concentrated in North America, as it accounted for half of the sales of oncology small molecule drugs, driven by the prevalence of cancer and treatment infrastructure in the region. The report suggests that increasing government and private organizations in the region will enable the continued development of advanced and improved cancer treatments.

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