Key companies in Japan’s melanoma market need to establish stronger digital support across all channels, finds GlobalData

The melanoma therapeutics market in Japan comprises of drugs approved for chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. Among these, immunotherapy and targeted therapy are the leading class of drugs. The digital support from existing players available for patients through branded and unbranded channels is not equally distributed as there is a lack of presence or weaker support from any of these channels, finds GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center, the number of diagnosed prevalent cases of melanoma in Japan is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.78% from 21,338 in 2020 to 22,590 in 2026.

Leading therapies available for melanoma in Japan include Chugai Pharmaceutical/Roche’s Zelboraf, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)/Ono Pharmaceutical’s Opdivo, Mektovi, Braftovi, Braftovi + Mektovi and Yervoy, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)’s Keytruda, and Novartis’ Tafinlar, Mekinist and Tafinlar + Mekinist.

Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Melanoma is a disease where patients need information on early signs and risk factors for self-identification of symptoms to undergo diagnosis and treatment and prevent disease progression to further stages. Though key players have greater presence on websites such as BMS/Ono’s branded websites and Chugai/Roche’s unbranded websites, extending their support through these channels, no presence is detected on social media. Strengthening social media activity as well as mobile app channels would benefit patients to a great extent.”

GlobalData’s ‘Digital Marketing Intelligence’ database identified branded websites such as BMS/Ono Pharmaceutical’s Immunooncology.jp, Chugai Pharmaceutical’s Pat.chugai-pharm.jp, Ono Pharmaceutical’s P.ono-oncology.jp, and MSD’s Keytruda.jp, as well as unbranded websites such as Chugai Pharmaceutical/Roche’s Aya-life.jp, Gan-genome.jp, and Ganwith.jp, and MSD’s Msdoncology.jp.

An analysis of the traffic to key websites over the last 18 months (April 2020 to December 2020 vs. July 2019 to March 2020) revealed the highest traffic to the branded websites that support multiple brands – BMS/Ono Pharmaceutical’s Immunooncology.jp and Ono Pharmaceutical’s P.ono-oncology.jp with more than 200K visits in the last 9 months. Among the unbranded websites, Chugai Pharmaceutical/Roche’s Gan-genome.jp received the highest traffic with more than 100K visits in the last 9 months.

Mr. Vale concludes: “Japan has a smaller number of incident cases of melanoma, but the recently launched targeted and immune-therapies are expected to achieve higher growth due to the unmet needs in this disease.  BMS/Ono in the branded digital space and Roche in the unbranded digital space are better examples of using a single web platform to support multiple brands or disease conditions. Since emotional support plays a major role in fighting the advanced stage of disease, companies should also include content related to emotional support along with treatment and disease information to add more value to their digital channels.”

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