Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a disease characterized by significant unmet need and, thus, opportunity. Its incidence is increasing in the major pharmaceutical markets, and many patients with early-stage disease suffer a recurrence. Moreover, the current therapies used to treat stage IV RCC can increase progression-free survival but have limited impact on prolonging overall survival. Interviewed experts are enthusiastic about the promise of an emerging class of drugs for RCC: immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Note: In April 2015, the RCC market was updated to reflect changes in our market assumptions for sorafenib (Bayer HealthCare/Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ Nexavar).


Questions Answered in This Report:

  • The COMPARZ trial compared sunitinib (Pfizer’s Sutent) with pazopanib (GlaxoSmithKline’s Votrient) in first-line RCC and showed that pazopanib was non-inferior to sunitinib in terms of efficacy but exhibited a better safety and tolerability profile. Will pazopanib replace sunitinib as first-line patient-share leader? What impact do key opinion leaders expect pazopanib will have on the RCC market?

  • The RCC pipeline includes drugs in numerous drug classes, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, vaccines, and novel angiogenesis inhibitors. How will established drug classes compete with emerging therapies in an increasingly fragmented market?

  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors are in development for RCC. What is physicians’ opinion of the potential of this class to treat RCC? What are their expectations of the novel PD-1 antagonist nivolumab in RCC? Which immunotherapies, if any, will penetrate the RCC market? What do experts perceive as the drawbacks of this class of agent? How are checkpoint inhibitor combinations viewed by experts?


Markets covered: United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan.

Primary research: 21 country-specific interviews with thought leaders.

Epidemiology: Diagnosed incident cases of stage I-IV disease, drug-treatable populations.

Population segments in market forecast: Stage I-III (adjuvant); stage IV (advanced nonmetastatic and metastatic) first-line, second-line (after failure of first-line treatment in stage IV), third-line (after failure of second-line treatment in stage IV), and fourth line (after failure of third-line treatment in stage IV).

Emerging therapies: Phase I/II: 20 drugs; Phase III: 5 drugs; preregistration: 0 drugs; registered: 0 drugs.

Market forecast features: Using a proprietary patient-flow model that incorporates mortality, we forecast population sizes and drug sales for adjuvant, first-line, second-line, third-line, and fourth-line patient segments through 2023.

Alternative market scenarios: Targeted therapies (sunitinib, sorafenib, pazopanib, and axitinib) are approved to treat intermediate- and high-risk stage I-III RCC patients.

Author(s): Dana Gheorghe, Ph.D.
Kimberly Martin, Ph.D.

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