Lung cancer also called pulmonary carcinoma is a type of cancer characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in the lungs. There are two types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); where over 80% of the lung cancers are NSCLC. These are differentiated based on their size as view under the microscope. Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers and also has the highest mortality rate as compared to other cancers.
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Statistics published by the World Cancer Research Fund International state that in 2012, lung cancer accounted 13% of all the cancers globally. The data further mentions that lung cancer also accounted for thehighest number of all the new cancer cases (17%) identified in men in 2012. Smoking has been identified as one of the major causes of the cancer; while other causes include prolonged exposure to asbestos, and other genetic factors.
Medical advances have introduced effective methods for treatment of lung cancer. Currently, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are major treatment options adopted. Alimta (Pemetrexed Disodium), Avastin (Bevacizumab), Cyramza (Ramucirumab) and Xalkori (Crizotinib) are some of the drugs approved for the treatment of lung cancer. Opdivo (nivolumab) by Bristol-Myers Squibb was approved in March 2015 for the treatment of metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Earlier in 2014, Zykadia (ceritinib) by Novartis was approved for the treatment of ALK+ metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and Gilotrif (afatinib) byBoehringerIngelheim was approved for treating metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR mutations in July 2013.
The global lung cancer therapeutics market would be driven by increasing adoption of personalized treatments. Although new drugs have revitalized the lung cancer therapeutics market, patent expiry of existing drugs has posed a major threat to original drug manufacturers. However, this has also created new opportunities for generic drug manufacturers to launch low cost generic drugs. This would also ensure deeper market penetration and would expand market reach in low and middle-income countries.
Increasing drug development costs has pressurized drug manufacturers to cut down investments in research and development. However, to stay ahead in the competition, pharmaceutical companies are engaging acquisition of companies which rich drug pipeline. Increased competition in the market has pressurized players to seek new methods for market leadership. Recently, Glenmark announced price reduction of its oncology drug Erleva (erlotinib), Geftib (gefitinib) and Pexotra (pemetrexed) by over 50% in India.
Research conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund International states that 58% of lung cancer cases stem fromlow-income countries. Hungary, Serbia, Denmark, and Poland are some of the countries with higher prevalence of lung cancer. In China alone, over 653,000 cases were recorded in 2012. Due to these factors, demand for low cost generic drugs is higher in these nations. High diagnosis and treatment rate in developed countries in North America and Europe coupled with financial capability to afford expensive cancer treatments make these regions most attractive for market entry. Further high drug price in the U.S. assure faster market growth for new drugs. The United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan are major countries leading the global small cell lung cancer market.
Some of the key players in the market include F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, AstraZeneca plc, Eli Lilly and Company, Sanofi-Aventis, Pfizer, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited, ArQule, Inc., Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., Agennix AG, and BoehringerIngelheim GmbH.
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