Next-In-Class Treatments Lead Oncology Drug Pipeline Update


The pipeline includes next-in-class treatments for melanoma, NSCLC, breast cancer, and multiple myeloma.

According to Sandra Cuellar, PharmD, we’re currently living in the golden age of oncology.1

“If you look at the past decade of FDA oncology approvals, we have made remarkable progress with immune checkpoint inhibitors, with sophisticated biologic agents such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific monoclonal antibodies, [and] targeted therapies,” said Cuellar, a clinical associate professor and clinical oncology pharmacist at UI Health/University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, during her presentation at the 2022 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meetings and Exhibition.1 “In the past decade or so…the number of drug approvals in oncology is over 330.”

The majority of these approvals—59%— are for label expansion. The poster child, she added, is prembrolizumab, which is has 33 indications over 13 individual disease states. Twenty-five percent of approvals were the first approval of a next-in-class drug, and 16% were for drugs with a new mechanism of action, with 7 such drugs approved in 2020.

Check out our coverage of the 2022 ASHP Summer Meetings and Exhibition to learn more about the latest in the specialty drug pipeline.

Slideshow: Oncology Pipeline Updates: Melanoma, NSCLC, Breast Cancer, and Multiple Myeloma


  1. Cuellar S, Banks AM. Specialty pipeline updates I: hematology & oncology. Presented at: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meetings & Exhibition; June 11-15, 2022; Phoenix, AZ
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