The global oncology drugs market size is estimated to be valued at US$ 77.3 billion in 2018 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 12.3% over the forecast period (2018 – 2026).
Cancer is a class of chronic disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. The most common cancer types are breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, and thyroid cancer. The three main types of drugs used for cancer, based on their mechanism of action, are cytotoxic drugs, targeted drugs, and hormonal drugs. Oncology drugs market has witnessed tremendous growth in the recent past, owing to increasing drug approvals and emergence of biosimilar products for cancer treatment. Furthermore, increasing healthcare expenditure for cancer has led to growing research and development activities for developing new cancer drugs that are highly effective and with least side-effects.
Key companies in the oncology drugs market are focused on targeting cancer treatment based on personalized medicines. According to Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD), 2015 report, 73% of the cancer medicines in the development have potential to be personalized medicine. Several researches are focused on targeting cancer at molecular level to offer new cancer treatments. According to an article published in The Biopharmaceutical Pipeline, 2013, new molecular entity for cancer treatment holds 80% share in the total pipeline products for cancer treatment. According to same source, the total number of potential first-in-class projects for cancer are 4,358 out of total 5,473 cancer projects.
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However, several blockbuster oncology drugs are expected to lose their patent during 2018-2020, which in turn is expected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. For instance, Roche’s Avastin, which is a humanized monoclonal antibody for the indication of colorectal, lung, breast, glioblastoma, kidney, and ovarian cancer is expected to lose its patent in July 2019 in the U.S. and in January 2022 in Europe. Some of the other drugs that are under patent expiration include, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly and Company’s Erbitux (cetuximab) by 2018; Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab) by 2019 and MabThera (Rituximab) by 2018; and Sanofi’s Zaltrap by 2020.
Presence of key market players and increasing drug approvals are attributing to the highest share of North America market in the global oncology drugs market
Regional oncology drugs market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. North America oncology drugs market holds dominant position in the global oncology drugs market. Advanced medical treatment options available for cancer in economies such as the U.S. and increasing survival rate are key factors driving the market growth. For instance, according to the American Association for Cancer Research’s 2015 report, the number of survivors suffering from cancer increased from 9.8 million in 2001 to 14.5 million in 2014, owing to increasing adoption of better medical facilities. Moreover, increasing R&D activities by local players such as Spark Therapeutics, Inc. and Kite Pharmaceuticals and increasing product approvals by the U.S. FDA are boosting the market growth in North America.
Furthermore, Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the market, owing to increasing focus of international player on strategies such as mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in February 2018, Merck acquired Viralytics Limited, a Sydney-based immune-oncology drug developer, to strengthen its immune-oncology drug pipeline. Moreover, increasing prevalence of various types of cancer in economies such as India and China is also expected to propel growth of the market. For instance, according to the American Cancer Society, 2015, around 4.3 million new cancer cases and over 2.8 million cancer deaths were recorded in China, with lung cancer being the most common and the leading cause of cancer deaths.
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