None of the developments in the bladder cancer area have improved the long-term survival rate of patients, with research results also remaining disappointing. Patients still die from muscle invasive disease, despite aggressive therapy with curative intent. Median survival after chemotherapy is usually 14 months. Moreover, no new drugs have entered the market over the past two decades, encouraging the scope for newer and more effective bladder cancer therapeutics.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (pharma.frost.com), European Bladder Cancer Therapeutics Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $128.3 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $163.2 million in 2013.
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“There is a clear medical need for enhanced treatment options to manage the disease, as five-year survival rates in patients receiving conventional systemic therapy for metastatic disease are poor,” notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Leader Paljit Mudhar. “There is a huge unmet need for novel treatments that improve survival or increase the therapeutic ratio of systemic therapy.”
Emerging therapeutic options cover new cytotoxic drugs, targeted therapies and biological treatments, which include gene therapy. The market will benefit immensely if newer treatments can offer greater clinical efficacy compared to existing alternatives. In particular, novel forms of therapy are much needed for patients with metastatic disease, since current treatment regimes include only chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy that offer significant benefits to less than fifty per cent of patients.
However, products currently in the pipeline for bladder cancer are unlikely to dramatically change the competitive landscape over the long term, as they do not offer substantial improvement or change compared to current treatments. As a result of limited products in the pipeline in the phase III stage, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the market is low.
“The European bladder cancer therapeutics market is likely to be considerably impacted from 2013 onwards, when drugs such as Tykerb (monoclonal antibodies) are likely to enter the market for this indication,” adds Mudhar. “Sizeable growth is expected, but this will be determined primarily by the acceptance and uptake rates in the market. Higher drug values within targeted therapy areas will be reflected in increased market revenues.”
In the meantime, numerous challenges threaten market growth, including development issues as a result of a lack of drugs that consistently prevent disease recurrence and progression. In addition, the high cost of bladder cancer treatment is placing intense pressure on healthcare providers. This is because costs associated with bladder cancer treatment are higher than that of other cancers since it tends to be a lifelong disease.
“Patients are subject to local recurrence over time, new tumour occurrences in surrounding areas and run the risk of disease progression with more invasive tumours,” explains Mudhar. “Treatment of bladder disease is costly, especially as it requires life-long follow up and management, resulting in increased pressure on healthcare providers to offer cost-effective care to patients.”
A key strategy for incumbent companies that have many mature product lines in their existing portfolio, such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, is to explore different options and ways to deliver that particular drug. This can extend treatment opportunities and patient groups and help deliver the drug more effectively.
The strategic aim in the mature stage of the product life cycle is to win customers from competitors and boost usage. The value add, in this particular context, would be the drug delivery mechanism. For instance, ongoing research is attempting to improve the outcomes of mitomycin and BCG through different delivery mechanisms. Electromotive (intravesical electric current) is a drug delivery method currently being tested to deliver mitomycin and BCG more effectively.
European Bladder Cancer Therapeutics Markets is part of the Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Growth Partnership Services, which also includes research in the following markets: European Urinary Incontinence Therapeutics, European Endometriosis Therapeutics, Blockbusters Going Off-patent: Opportunities for Generics Manufacturers in Europe and European Osteoarthritis. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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