Wed, 04 Aug 2021

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer survival rates over a five-year period in the US have demonstrated a marked improvement to 70% in 2020 – mainly due to improved healthcare, public policy, and novel pharmaceutical therapies. Oncology therapy comprised approx. a fifth of worldwide branded pharmaceutical sales and the oncology drugs market has consistently demonstrated double-digit growth for some time now.

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Companies Concentrating Their Efforts on Five Oncology Indications For Bulk Revenue

Although there are 20 different indications in oncology, the vast majority of revenue is derived from a quarter of those. In 2020, multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) consists of more than half the oncology drugs market. Most drugs treat various types of cancers with three being anti-PD antibodies. A few other common cancers include skin, pancreatic, thyroid, renal, soft tissue, and brain cancer with breast, lung, and colorectal cancer accounting for more than 50% of all diagnosis in women.

Supply Chains Enable Transformation in Autologous Therapy in Oncology Drugs Market

RNA therapy, stem cell therapy, viral vectors, and cell therapy have been the buzzwords in the oncology drugs market with gene therapies leading to evermore complex supply chain and manufacturing processes – particularly for autologous therapies. Yescarta and Kymriah – two CAR-T cell therapies were approved for treating and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and acute lymphocytic leukaemia respectively. The treatment and diagnostics regimen has progressed rapidly through precision medicine with approx. 160 oncology biomarkers authorized in 2019 and almost all of them against molecular targets. 4/5th of novel clinical assets are for marketed targets with four or more clinical competitors leading to quicker initial launches, shorter development cycles, and competitor therapies.

Maximum Activity Witnessed in Oncology With Thrice Development Spend of Other Sectors

Innovation in the oncology sector has boomed with the highest number of novel FDA approvals in this dynamic field. The estimated clinical development spend is thrice that of any other therapy area in phase III trials in the US. Oncology is responsible for roughly 2/5th of total expenditure and a third of total pipeline approvals in the US. In addition, it is one of the most expensive therapeutic areas in the pharmaceutical industry providing immense opportunities for companies in the oncology drugs market.

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Dominance of Ten Companies in Oncology Drugs Market Unlikely to Erode Anytime Soon

The ten largest pharmaceutical companies have already declared oncology as a primary focus area of their R&D initiatives. There has been a flurry of M&A activity and strategic collaborations revolving around oncology drugs recently. In 2019, American giant Pfizer acquired Array BioPharma and Genmab and AbbVie entered into a strategic partnership to develop bispecific antibodies. The oncology drugs market is characterized by its oligopolistic nature with the top ten companies capturing 3/4th of the market value. The biggest companies are F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Roche), Celgene, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Novartis, AbbVie, and Astellas Pharma. In 2020, Roche alone held a quarter of the global oncology drugs market but this share should decline by 2026 as its key products lose their popularity amongst patients.

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