Frontier Pharma: Hematological Cancers - Highly Innovative Pipeline Continues Trend towards Targeted, Patient-Specific Therapies
Hematological malignancies are a class of cancer that affect the blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow, and include numerous forms of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Hematological malignancies constituted 9% of all newly diagnosed malignancies in the US in 2011, with data indicating that lymphomas are more prevalent than leukemia or myeloma. Excluding acute lymphocytic leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, these types of malignancy are generally associated with increasing age. Therefore, considering the aging population globally, this class of malignancy is likely to become more prevalent.
The report assesses first-in-class innovation in the hematological cancer pipeline, highlighting key trends in first-in-class product distribution. Analysis reveals that the hematological cancer pipeline is among the most innovative in the industry, with 463 first-in-class products, representing 45.3% of the pipeline with a disclosed molecular target.
The first-in-class targets in the pipeline are numerous and varied in nature. Cancer immunotherapies are the most common, with a total of 128 across all stages of development, followed by the signal transduction group of targets. The most commercially successful targeted drugs in the market fall into these two categories, including Rituxan (a cancer immunotherapy) and Gleevec (a signal transducer). The other target families have much fewer first-in-class products, reflecting the strong interest in cancer immunotherapies and targets implicated in signal transduction.
Over the past 15 years, the treatment of hematological malignancies has changed significantly, with the development of targeted therapies. These developments have been based on the growing understanding of the signaling pathways involved in disease pathogenesis. A notable example is the approval of Rituxan in 1997, which is used to treat multiple types of hematological malignancies, including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Analysis indicates that the current pipeline is following this trend of focusing on innovative, targeted therapies.
The hematological cancers market is characterized by commercially successful therapies.
Leukemia Has Largest Pipeline and Most First-in-Class Innovation in Hematological Cancers Space
Of the three major indications within hematological cancer, namely leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, leukemia has the largest pipeline, with 798 products in active development, while lymphoma has 552 and myeloma has 396, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.
The company’s latest report* states that there are currently 1,234 pipeline products in active development in the hematological cancer therapy area, and for each of the three key indications, the composition by stage of development is relatively similar, although leukemia and myeloma have more products in clinical development.
Yasser Mushtaq, Senior Analyst for GBI Research, explains: “Leukemia has the most products in the hematological cancers pipeline, with 349 in clinical development and 446 in early-stage development, while three products had an undisclosed stage of development. In terms of individual stages, however, Preclinical is the largest across leukemia and lymphoma, while Phase II is the largest in myeloma. It is notable that Phase II also contains many products for leukemia and lymphoma, which is a promising trend for product development.
“The leukemia indication contains the most first-in-class products, with 195, while the lymphoma and myeloma pipelines contain 186 and 82 first-in-class products, respectively.”
GBI Research’s report also states that considerable unmet needs remain in hematological cancer, with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) particularly ill-served, as there is a need for more efficacious targeted therapies across all patient subtypes. The treatment of AML is still limited to conventional DNA-targeted chemotherapy regimens, which achieve long-term survival rates of 25-50% in patients below the age of 60, and only 5-15% in older patients, indicating a clear need for more efficacious treatments.
Mushtaq continues: “Across other forms of hematological cancer, while some targeted therapies are already present in the market, reducing the rates of relapse and improving survival rates among patients who do relapse are particular areas of need.
“For example, across follicular lymphoma (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLCL), first-line treatment in patients is typically cytarabine-cased chemotherapy in combination with rituximab. Despite largely positive response rates, almost all patients ultimately relapse, with progression-free survival values of one to two years in MCL and above three years in FL and DLCL, presenting a notable need across the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma pipeline for more effective maintenance therapies to prevent disease relapse.”
*Frontier Pharma: Hematological Cancers - Highly Innovative Pipeline Continues Trend towards Targeted, Patient-Specific Therapies
This report provides analysis of the hematological cancers treatment pipeline, stratified by stage of development, molecule type and molecular target. It includes information on the current clinical and commercial landscape, and the composition of the hematological market in terms of dominant molecule types and targets, as well as highlighting current unmet needs.
This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.
Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.Download eBook