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Frontier Pharma: Head and Neck Cancer - Immunotherapies and Signal Transduction Inhibitors Dominate First-in-Class Innovation

Frontier Pharma: Head and Neck Cancer - Immunotherapies and Signal Transduction Inhibitors Dominate First-in-Class Innovation

  • March 2017
  • 78 pages
  • ID: 4813681
  • Format: PDF
  • By GlobalData

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Frontier Pharma: Head and Neck Cancer - Immunotherapies and Signal Transduction Inhibitors Dominate First-in-Class Innovation

Summary
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide, and its incidence is rising (Lacko et al., 2014). It represents a number of cancers that are known collectively as HNCs, and which usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (Ridge et al., 2016). This diverse group of tumors is frequently aggressive. It is found that the five-year overall survival (OS) was 62% for all HNC cases. In contrast, about 50% of diagnosed cancer patients survive their disease for 10 years or more, and 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive their disease for five years or more (Cancer Research UK, 2017a; Cancer Research UK, 2017b). This reflects a large unmet need for this cancer, which often relapses and is often found in a metastatic stage.

The HNC pipeline has 340 products active across all stages of development. The range of mechanisms of action employed by these compounds is very diverse, especially in comparison with the existing market landscape, and matches the diversity of many of the other oncology indication pipelines. More pertinently, there is a large proportion of breakthrough innovation in this pipeline.

Despite risks associated with developing first-in-class products, they have still proven to be a highly desirable investment option. Indeed, the high level of deal-making activity within the head and neck cancer space is indicative of a strong willingness on the part of pharmaceutical companies to engage in strategic consolidations to mitigate some of the risks associated with drug development, such as the high attrition rates exhibited by oncology indications.

According to Adam Bradbury, GBI Research, “Factors driving the pipeline size include the limited efficacy of current treatments for refractory patients and a lack of approved targeted therapies in the market landscape, facilitating the development of novel compounds. These factors have far-reaching strategic implications for all market participants, as it is likely that numerous first-in-class products, many of which are supported by promising preclinical data, will reach the market over the coming decade, potentially transforming the clinical and commercial landscape.

The HNC deals landscape is highly active, with a mean value for co-development deals of $496.6m between 2006 and 2016, which is above the 2015 industry average of $346.8m, and a mean value for licensing deals of $198.6m, which is also above the industry average of $198.6m. Most deals involved drugs with established targets. However, some deals contained a variety of first-in-class products – although deal values were not always disclosed. Despite the risk that can be associated with first-in-class products, they have still been shown to be a highly desirable investment option. Risks are posed through identifying a new target, developing a therapeutic compound for that target and validating the target mechanism for disease intervention in HNC.

Scope
- The report analyzes innovation in HNC in the context of the overall pipeline and current market landscape. It also analyzes the deals landscape surrounding first-in-class products, and pinpoints opportunities for in-licensing.
- A brief introduction to HNC is provided, including symptoms, pathophysiology, and an overview of pharmacotherapy and treatment algorithms.
- The changing molecular target landscape between the market and the pipeline is reviewed, including particular focal points of innovation in the pipeline.
- A comprehensive review of the pipeline for first-in-class therapies, analyzed on the basis of stage of development, molecule type and molecular target is included.
- First-in-class molecular targets are identified and assessed, with a particular focus on early-stage programs for which clinical utility has yet to be evaluated, as well as literature reviews on novel molecular targets.
- An assessment is made of the licensing and co-development deal landscape for HNC therapies.

Reasons to buy
- Understand the current clinical and commercial landscape, including a comprehensive study of disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, prognosis and the available treatment options.
- Visualize the composition of the HNC market in terms of dominant molecule types and targets, highlighting what the current unmet needs are and how they can be addressed. This knowledge enables a competitive understanding of the gaps in the market.
- Analyze the HNC pipeline, stratified by stage of development, molecule type and molecular target.
- Assess the therapeutic potential of first-in-class targets. Using a proprietary matrix, first-in-class products have been assessed and ranked according to clinical potential. Promising early-stage targets have been further reviewed in greater detail.
- Identify commercial opportunities in the HNC deals landscape by analyzing trends in licensing and co-development deals.

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