Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cancer Biotherapy Revenues Settle Down, But Still Strong

In the last decade, one of the most promising new approaches in modern cancer treatment is immunotherapy or biotherapy, the development of methods to augment and enhance the body’s natural tendency to defend itself against malignant tumors without damaging healthy tissue. Therapies such as monoclonals or interleukins were growing at over 25% between 2005 and 2010.

That type of revenue growth could not have been sustained forever. As these products become an increasingly common part of treatment, we note that growth rates - while still very high - have slowed from previous levels. Kalorama notes in Cancer Therapeutics , our latest study, that biotherapies grew at 10% between 2010 and 2011. That new revenue growth rate though should hold long-term, at least the next five years, and still makes for a very comfortable atmosphere for new product introductions.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the industrialized world. Most cancer patients are treated with some combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, radiation and chemotherapy destroy healthy as well as malignant cells and thus can cause severe side effects.

The rising incidence of cancer, particularly in the over 50 population, is likely have a significant impact on all areas of cancer treatment. However, for many cancer types, there remains a significant unmet need in effective treatment. Lung cancer is one example as patient survival is less than five years after diagnosis. Traditional therapies have failed to provide adequate treatment for these patients, signifying a need for an alternative treatment plan. Compassionate use has been granted for several therapies in the past and this trend is likely to continue.