Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, in 2008, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeting therapies -- which include Roche/Chugai's Herceptin and GlaxoSmithKline/Nippon Kayaku's Tykerb/Tyverb -- were the highest-selling drug class in breast cancer treatment. Continued uptake of Herceptin and Tykerb/Tyverb and the expected launches of three new therapies will drive sales of HER2-targeting agents to grow by 3.3 percent per year from 2008 to 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Breast Cancer finds that significant declines in sales in the hormonal therapy and chemotherapy segments of the market will be offset by a 1.2 percent annual increase in breast cancer incidence in the world's major markets and by the launch and uptake of premium-priced agents. Emerging HER2-targeting therapies that are expected to launch by 2018 include Roche/Chugai's Omnitarg, Roche's T-DM1 and Wyeth's HKI-272.
The report also finds that sales of Roche/Chugai's Avastin for breast cancer will increase by four percent from 2008 to 2018, largely owing to greater uptake by patients with metastatic disease.
"Since its approval, Avastin has garnered substantial patient share in metastatic breast cancer, particularly in the metastatic triple-negative and metastatic HR-refractory treatment settings, where there is a significant need for effective therapeutic options," said Decision Resources Analyst Niamh Murphy, Ph.D. "However, many of the physicians we interviewed, particularly in Europe, are not very enthusiastic about Avastin for breast cancer because they consider its cost-benefit profile suboptimal."
According to the report, experts are enthusiastic about the launch and uptake of a novel class of breast cancer therapies -- the poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. The PARP inhibitors represent a novel therapeutic strategy in DNA-repair-deficient tumors, such as triple-negative breast cancer.
"PARP inhibitors, which include Sanofi-Aventis's BSI-201 and AstraZeneca's olaparib, could dramatically improve prognoses for the woefully underserved patient subgroups with DNA-repair-deficient tumors," Dr. Murphy said.
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