BURLINGTON, Mass., Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that immune checkpoint inhibitors, specifically CTLA-4 inhibitor Yervoy (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Ono Pharmaceutical), and programmed death-1 inhibitors Opdivo (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Ono Pharmaceutical) and Keytruda (Merck & Co.) will be key drivers of growth in the malignant melanoma market. Major market sales are expected to increase from $1.5 billion in 2014 to $3 billion in 2024. The 2015 FDA label expansion of Yervoy into the resectable setting and anticipated comparable label expansions for Opdivo and Keytruda in the United States and Europe will fuel growth in this market segment at an annual growth rate of 13 percent to over $900 million in 2024. Anticipated U.S. first-line label expansions of Keytruda and Opdivo, uptake of Opdivo/Yervoy combination therapy (approved by the FDA in October 2015), and anticipated label expansion of Keytruda in combination with oncolytic viral therapy Imlygic (Amgen) further underscore immune checkpoint inhibitors as key players in malignant melanoma market growth.

Other key findings from the Pharmacor report entitled "Malignant Melanoma":

  • In the United States, Novartis's BRAF/MEK inhibitor combination Tafinlar plus Mekinist has rapidly become the standard of care for BRAF-mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma that is rapidly progressing and is seeing rapid uptake in Europe following approval in this market in September 2015.
  • Tafinlar/Mekinist is expected to experience competition from emerging BRAF/MEK inhibitor combinations Zelboraf/cobimetinib (Roche/Genentech/Exelixis) and encorafenib/binimetinib (Array BioPharma).
  • As a single agent, MEK inhibitor binimetinib is set to launch for NRAS-mutation-positive malignant melanoma, carving itself a niche in the malignant melanoma market.

Other key findings from the U.S. Physician and Payer Forum report entitled "U.S. Clinician and Payer Receptivity to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Oncology: Ushering in a New Era of Cancer Immunotherapies in NSCLC, Malignant Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, and SCCHN":

  • The majority of surveyed U.S. payers perceive Yervoy to have a significant impact on medical practice for malignant melanoma, and nearly half of respondents cover Yervoy on a favorable tier (tier 1 or 2) despite its premium price.
  • Nearly half of surveyed U.S. payers perceive that the efficacy gains of Keytruda in malignant melanoma are significant and justify its cost compared with only one quarter for Opdivo, perhaps in part a reflection of U.S. payers' greater familiarity with earlier-to-market Keytruda.

Other key findings from the Treatment Trends report entitled "Malignant Melanoma Q2 2015 (U.S.)":

  • Opdivo and Keytruda both achieve a higher satisfaction score among surveyed medical oncologists compared with Yervoy for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma.
  • The main obstacles to prescribing Yervoy are tolerability and safety issues and the lack of a biomarker for patient selection.

Decision Resources Group will be publishing updated data and analysis from our Malignant Melanoma Treatment Trends report series in December 2015.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Gemma McConnell, Ph.D.:

  • "Immune checkpoint inhibitors have significantly raised the bar for emerging therapies in malignant melanoma and interviewed experts are hopeful that the clinical benefit demonstrated by Opdivo, Keytruda, and Opdivo in combination with Yervoy in unresectable disease will translate into a long-term survival benefit. To raise the bar further, novel combinatorial approaches are likely needed."

For more information on purchasing this report, please email questions@teamdrg.com.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value data, analytics and insights products and services to the healthcare industry, delivered by more than 900 employees across 14 global locations. DRG provides the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, financial services and payer industries with the tools, insights and advice they need to compete and thrive in an increasingly complex and value-based marketplace. DecisionResourcesGroup.com.

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