Cytotoxic domination of cancer market continues

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Cytotoxic drugs have remained the main cancer treatment for decades even though the side-effects...

Cytotoxic drugs have remained the main cancer treatment for decades even though the side-effects are relatively serious. These drugs are expected to remain the major treatment for cancer because there is a lack of alternative drugs on the market according to a report by JSB Intelligence. Even emerging molecular-targeted drugs, which are currently available, will be used with the cytotoxics.

The market for these drugs is competitive, creating high entry barriers to any novel pipeline agent unless it can prove clinical superiority. Out of the numerous therapies available on the market only a few dominate and others that are highly genericized contribute little to the market sales. There is market saturation of cytotoxic therapies, which were launched decades ago that are occasionally still in use. This is an indication of the level of generic competition.

At present, it is estimated that the market size is $9.6 billion, with the US accounting for 55%, Japan 16% and France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK 29% of market sales. This is expected to peak at $13 billion in 2010, driven by the growth of Eli Lilly's Gemzar and Sanofi-Aventis' Taxotere and Eloxatin, which already account for 34% of the total cytotoxic sales.

However, the expiration of existing drugs and the difficulties novel drugs face gaining a place on the market is predicted to cause a fall in the market size by 2014. Therefore, research into effects of cytotoxics combined with molecular-targeted agents is necessary


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