Gastric Cancer Therapeutics in Asia-Pacific Markets to 2022 - Growth Driven by Increasing Prevalence and Launch of Targeted Therapies
Gastric cancer is characterized by the formation of malignant cells in the inner lining of the stomach and is the fifth-most common cancer globally. There are many types of gastric cancer, but adenocarcinoma is the most common type and is diagnosed in 95% of cases. The life expectancy and survival rate for gastric cancer is heavily dependent on the stage of the disease when diagnosed. In Asia-Pacific, most of the incident cases of gastric cancer are diagnosed at the late stage and in patients over the age of 60. As the aged population continues to grow, the prevalence of gastric cancer will increase. This, coupled with increasing early diagnosis and an improved survival rate, will drive revenue growth. Due to its indolent nature, the disease remains one of the most common causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Such a poor outlook, particularly for patients with advanced disease, has created a pressing need for improved targeted therapeutic options. The current marketed products landscape comprises a wide range of treatment options, including HER2-targeted therapy, angiogenesis inhibitors and new chemotherapies. Nevertheless, significant unmet need remains for products that can treat HER2-negative gastric cancer patients. However, the gastric cancer market is undergoing a gradual change from a focus on generic chemotherapy regimens to a complex treatment landscape based on targeted therapies.
In the current market, patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer can be treated with targeted therapies, such as Herceptin, while HER2-negative patients still receive chemotherapy regimens as the first-line treatment. The market will be driven by recently launched products and upcoming targeted therapies during the forecast period. The main restraints will be the low penetration of new targeted therapies, owing to their high price, and constrained healthcare budgets.
The Asia-Pacific gastric cancer market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% from $1.3 billion in 2015 to $2.7 billion in 2022.
Asia-Pacific gastric cancer market set to experience strong growth to $2.7 billion by 2022, says GBI Research
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) gastric cancer market is set to rise from $1.3 billion in 2015 to $2.7 billion by 2022, at a strong compound annual growth rate of 11.4%, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.
The company’s latest report states that the market will be driven by the increasing prevalence of gastric cancer, higher levels of health insurance coverage, and improving disease awareness. Indeed, strong awareness of the disease and a widespread screening program in Japan have already led to a higher number of cases being diagnosed at stage I, increasing the treatment-receiving population.
Gayathri Kanika, Analyst for GBI Research, states: “In line with improved diagnosis rates, the anticipated approval of various monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) over the forecast period will drive treatment rates across all lines of therapy and generate higher sales in the gastric cancer market.
“Currently, the gastric cancer treatment landscape largely comprises generic chemotherapies, which provide limited clinical benefit and cause serious side effects. However, the current pipeline is strong, with targeted therapies expected to be launched during the forecast period.”
A new class of drug approved for the treatment of gastric cancer, targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, is Cyramza (ramucirumab), a mAb used for second- and third-line therapy for gastric cancer. GBI Research expects Cyramza to garner rapid uptake, as it is being established as the standard of care for the second-line advanced setting, with its label expected to expand to cover the HER2-negative first-line setting within the forecast period.
Perjeta (pertuzumab) is being developed in combination with Herceptin for the treatment of gastric cancer, on the assumption that the combination will yield superior results. The response rate shown in a Phase II trial – which compared the efficacy of Herceptin/Perjeta combination with that of Herceptin plus chemotherapy – was higher for the Herceptin/Perjeta combination. Perjeta, once approved, will likely replace the current standard of first-line treatment for HER2-positive gastric cancer.
Kanika concludes: “Despite their promise, the anticipated premium pricing of mAbs will make affordability a barrier for the marketing of these drugs in India and China, where there are no strong reimbursement frameworks and most expenses are paid out-of-pocket by the patient.
“Moreover, increasing cost-consciousness in the other major Asian markets, such as Japan and South Korea, will limit premium pricing opportunities for pipeline agents. Drug companies will need to consider the changing reimbursement landscape when determining the pricing strategies for their drugs in these markets.”
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