Antibodies and peptides play various roles in oncology: monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and peptides are directly used in anticancer therapies and also as targeting moieties. Over 10 mAbs, either unconjugated or in immunoconjugate forms have been approved for use in oncology. Various peptides, tumor necrosis factors (TNFs), and cell surface-targeted peptides have been recognized using phage-display library techniques. In combination with standard chemotherapeutic agents, mAbs and peptides can significantly increase the effectiveness of anticancer drugs to treat tumors with reduced adverse side effects on normal tissues. Antibodies have been selected as anti-cancer therapeutics due to their long serum half-life and capacity to bind with high specificity as well as affinity to a wide variety of molecules. Peptides have been evolved as promising therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases - and application of peptides in a variety of other therapeutic areas are growing rapidly. Currently, there are about 60 globally approved peptide drugs in the market generating an annual sale of more than USD13 billion. Three peptides, namely, leuprolide, goserelin, and octreotide are used for cancer treatment directly or in the treatment of episodes associated with certain tumors. Oncology is one of the most attractive therapeutic markets to venture; due to high drug prices. There are approximately 861 drugs in development to treat cancer, many of which are based on antibodies.
The major types of antibodies and peptides used in cancer therapy are:
- monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)
- Conjugated antibodies
- Tumor necrosis factors (TNFs)
Conjugated antibodies contain cancer-killing agents such as toxins or radioisotopes. The rationale for this approach is that the antibody can bring the cancer-killing agent directly to the cancer cell with minimal damage to healthy cells. Conjugated antibodies have experienced limited success as a result of toxicity issues and complicated methods of administration. The toxicity has arisen from the fact that the toxic payload is often delivered to both cancerous and healthy tissues. Examples of conjugated antibodies include Bexar, Zevalin and Mylotarg.
The antibodies and peptides in oncology market are driven by various factors which include:
- Increasing incidence of a range of cancer conditions
- Increasing popularity of advance therapies (biological and targeted drug therapies)
- Increasing prevalence of cancer
On the other hand, factors such as the high cost associated with research activities and are restraining the immune checkpoint inhibitors market.
Geographically, the global antibodies and peptides in oncology market are segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Rest of the World. In 2013 North America accounted for the largest share in the overall oncology drugs market due to high incidence rate of cancer, American Cancer Society estimated 1,658,370 new cancer cases diagnosed and 589,430 cancer deaths in the US in 2015, Also, heavy investments by multinational companies in research and development of cancer drugs, mainly immune therapeutics, favorable reimbursement policies, and increase in adoption rate of immunotherapies. Furthermore, Asia-Pacific market would grow at the promising CAGR of 8.7% during the forecast period due to increasing awareness towards advanced therapies i.e. immunotherapies and increase in per capita healthcare expenditure.
Some of the key global market participants present in the antibodies and peptides in oncology market are Novartis International AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, AstraZeneca plc, Celgene Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Johnson & Johnson Limited, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly and Company.
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