Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a process of formation of new blood vessels from endothelial cells or from pre-existing vessels. VEGF’s normal function is during embryonic development, formation of new blood vessels after injury, in muscles after exercise, and as a bypass for a blocked vessel. Overexpression of VEGF can be fatal as they can grow into cancerous cells. VEGF plays both beneficial and damaging roles in organisms. It takes circulating endothelial precursor cells and acts as a growth medium for immature tumor cells. The affinity of VEGF toward endothelial cells is mediated through VEGF-specific tyrosine kinase receptors VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3. Hence, VEGF and its receptors play a major role in the growth of tumor cells. The endotheliotropic property of VEGF causes a major concern for developing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitors. The VEGF family in mammals comprises VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and PIGF. Out of these, VEGF-A is responsible for angiogenesis and migration and mitosis of endothelial cells. Many therapeutic strategies are developed for inhibiting the signal transduction of VEGF. Some of the therapeutic options are monoclonal antibodies against VEGF or VEGFR, soluble VEGF and VEGFR hybrids, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors are also termed as angiogenesis inhibitors. They inhibit the growth of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis inhibitors are effective in the treatment of cancer, macular degeneration in the eye, and diseases that involve proliferation of blood vessels. VEGF or angiogenesis is regulated by the activity of endogenous stimulators and inhibitors. Endogenous inhibitors are involved in regulating the process of blood vessel formation. They are derived from cellular matrix and basement protein. Among the factors responsible for angiogenesis, VEGF is the most potent and has high expression in ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancer. Inhibition of angiogenesis by VEGF requires anti-VEGF/ anti-angiogenesis factors, which reduce the production of pro- angiogenic factors, thereby preventing them from binding to their receptors. The commonly used therapy for VEGF pathway inhibition is monoclonal antibody against VEGF or VEGFR, soluble VEGFR hybrids, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Monoclonal antibody Bevacizumab is widely used for treatment.
Global increase in the prevalence of cancer and recognition of therapeutic opportunities offered by oncology treatments have driven the pharmaceutical industry to develop new agents to treat cancer. According to WHO, new cancer cases are expected to rise by 70% in the coming two decades. Approximately 60% of malignant tumors express high concentrations of VEGF. Therefore, therapeutic options to inhibit the VEGF tumor causing pathway has become a major concern for all researchers. One of the factors restraining VEGF inhibitors from becoming a silver bullet in the treatment of cancer is that angiogenesis is not the only factor causing tumors. Other restraints include the side effects caused by VEGF inhibitors such as bleeding and increased blood pressure.
The VEGF inhibitors market can be segmented based on mode of action of the drug, route of administration, end-user, and geography. In terms of mode of action of the drug, the VEGF inhibitors market can be classified into tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and VEGFR hybrids. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors inhibit the adenosine triphosphate binding sites. Monoclonal antibodies bind to VEGF-A, preventing it from binding to receptors and activating the signaling cascades that lead to angiogenesis. VEGFR hybrids act as decoy receptors and prevent binding of the ligand to its natural receptors. Based on route of administration, the VEGF inhibitors market can be classified into oral and intravenous. In terms of end-user, the VEGF inhibitors market can be divided into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and cancer research institutes. Based on geography, the VEGF inhibitors market can be categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor segment is a dominant segment of the VEGF inhibitors market in North America, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. China is projected to drive the VEGF inhibitors market in Asia Pacific by providing expansion opportunities to upcoming companies. Countries such as China, India, and South Asian countries are expected to dominate the VEGF inhibitors market in Asia Pacific. According to WHO, cancer prevalence is estimated to rise at a rapid pace in Africa, Asia, and the U.S.
The top layers in the VEGF inhibitors market are Pfizer, Inc., Novartis AG, AstraZeneca plc, Bayer AG, Merck & Co., Inc., Genentech, Inc. (Roche), Eli Lilly & Company, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Bristol-Myers-Squibb Company, and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH.
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