Immuno-oncology became the current drug development trend

21 November 2018

GMP News

According to the new report from GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, Immuno-Oncology (IO) development is booming with IO agents being investigated in most cancer types, in combination or alone, representing a huge commercial opportunity for established pharma players and novel developers.

Immuno-oncology (IO) is the treatment of cancer with therapies that stimulate or suppress the body’s own immune system. Several distinct modalities of IO therapy exist, including bispecific T-cell engaging monoclonal antibodies, cellular immunotherapy and adoptive cellular therapy, cancer vaccines, checkpoint modulating monoclonal antibodies, and oncolytic viruses.

As of September 2018, there were 1,054 IO agents in clinical development, filed, or marketed, in the five main classes: bispecific antibody, cancer vaccine, cell therapy, checkpoint modulator, or oncolytic virus in eight major markets (USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, and China).

The much of the ongoing development for IO includes combination studies. Approved IO agents of all five classes are being investigated alone and in combinations, but there is no trend so far for the preferred IO combination partners across classes. Keytruda’s tumor-agnostic approval for microsatellite instability high or mismatch repair deficient cancers, has earned it a place in treatment guidelines for several indications, including for cancers for which it does not hold an indication-specific approval, such as prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Drug developers are investigating agents across many solid tumors and blood cancers, leaving limited opportunities for developers to explore entirely new patient populations. Scientists have a big space for research to find effective combination because currently there is no definite trend for preferred combination types.



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