Oncology Market Remains Robust, Says Report


The 2018 oncology drug market had a record number of new treatments and continued a trend of growth.

Cancer ribbons

The expected spending and growth in the oncology market is growing, according to a new report.

Oncology is the largest therapy area in biopharmaceuticals characterized by a large number of recently launched therapies, significant clinical benefits, the largest pipeline of any therapy area and significant potential breakthroughs in new mechanisms in the next few years, according to IQVIA Institute’s “Global Oncology Trends 2019: Therapeutics, Clinical Development and Health System Implications” report.

The report found that in 2018, a record number of 15 new active substance oncology treatments with 17 indications, including one tissue-agnostic therapy, launched in the U.S. Those 2018 debuts bring the total number of new oncology therapeutics launched since 2013 to 57 covering 89 approved indications for 23 different tumor types.

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However, despite extensive pipeline activity, oncology remains the most challenging area for research and development, facing significant risk of failure and long, costly development, according to the report.

Other unique findings from the report include:

  • 31% of the new drug launches treat non-solid tumors (leukemias/lymphomas/multiple myeloma)

  • Overall pipeline up 63% in the past five years with over 100 next-generation biotherapeutics (including cell, gene, and nucleotide therapies), examples already launched include CAR T therapies

  • Clinical trials remain risky but the overall numbers are high and large numbers of launches are expected through 2023

  • Biomarkers are a key success factor for future drugs and a wide range of them are already in use across a range of tumors, but a range of barriers persist that delay or limit patient access to medicines.

  • Spending reached nearly $150 billion globally in 2018 and is projected to exceed $200 billion by 2023 growing at 9% to 12%.

  • New oncology drugs launched in 2018 took a median of 10.5 years from the time of first patent filing to regulatory approval and launch, an acceleration of more than four years from the 2017 level

“The future looks robust with a large and varied pipeline, a focus on biomarkers and overcoming logistical and technological hurdles to identifying and managing patients, and extremely promising mechanisms in development promising improved patient response and survival across a range of tumors with large populations and small,” says Michael Kleinrock, research director, IQVIA Institute.

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