Chemotherapy uptake to gradually decrease with arrival of novel therapies and biosimilars, says GlobalData

  • Negative CAGRs of 0.61% and 3.89% is projected for the chemotherapy drug class in the US market for haematological and solid tumors, respectively.
  • Sales for chemotherapy in the 5EU expected to remain around $3.2bn over the next decade despite increased incidence of cancer.
  • Trends in chemotherapy sales expected to vary widely with CAGRs ranging from -14.92% to 8.40% across 15 major oncology indications.

As more research is conducted into novel therapies, and as the next decade is set to bring biosimilar and generic products of current blockbuster drugs, namely in the immunotherapy setting, chemotherapy could cease to be used in some indications. Negative compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 0.61% and 3.89% is projected for the chemotherapy drug class in the US market for haematological and solid tumors, respectively, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

However, while chemotherapy use is quickly falling behind novel therapies and biosimilars, it remains an important and efficient therapy and therefore is forecasted to display interesting trends in use over the next decade. Trends in chemotherapy sales are expected to vary widely with CAGRs ranging from -14.92% to 8.40% across 15 major oncology indications and total chemotherapy sales are expected to remain at around $3.2bn in the 5EU over the next decade.

Miguel Ferreira, Hematology and Oncology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The key advantage of chemotherapy in the current market is its long-standing use resulting from decades of optimisation clinical trials across individual indications. Furthermore, the lower cost of chemotherapies when compared to all other drug classes supports the cost-effectiveness argument.”

Going forward, chemotherapy use in oncology is expected to evolve in two distinct paths. Firstly, given the well-established nature of chemotherapy in most indications, clinical trials are often designed to combine a novel therapy with chemotherapy, since for ethical reasons, novel therapies cannot be administered solely to patients when standard of care is available.

Ferreira continues: “The use of chemotherapy alone will likely cease to be a common approach, as ongoing clinical trials continue to test novel agents either alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Hence, in some indications chemotherapy use will likely decrease and stagnate at the rate at which it is used in combination with other therapies.”

According to a review of GlobalData’s latest reports, it is notable that chemotherapy use is sharply decreasing, namely in non-small cell lung cancer, HER2-negative breast cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Expectedly, these are indications with a plethora of pipeline agents and a breadth of biomarker-specific populations that are more likely to benefit from targeted therapy than chemotherapy.

Ferreira adds: “The use of chemotherapy in some indications may be completely eradicated if chemotherapy is considered to be a current poor option for those patients and there is sufficient clinical data to demonstrate that a novel agent alone can offer better outcomes. In this case, chemotherapy will likely be removed all together from the treatment backbone.”

More Media