Large and Diverse Pipeline
The liver cancer pipeline contains 238 products in active development, approximately 47% of which are first-in-class. The percentage of the pipeline devoted to innovative products is considerably larger than both the industry and oncology average, which is a promising sign for novel therapeutics reaching the liver cancer market.
The contrast between the market and pipeline is vast. Analysis showed that the market contains 70 products, the majority of which are generic formulations of chemotherapies that are not frequently used in treatment, particularly in advanced-stage patients. Nexavar (sorafenib) is the dominant therapeutic on the market, and is also the only targeted therapy that is in regular use for advanced-stage liver cancer patients. However, pipeline analysis revealed that targeted therapies aimed at the underlying oncogenic signaling pathways are under much greater focus in the pipeline than in the market. The success of targeted therapies across the oncology market as a whole implies that the diversity and innovation in the pipeline is a promising sign, with products currently in development having the potential to transform and improve the relatively open liver cancer market.
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Alignment of First-in-Class Molecular Targets with Disease Causation The liver cancer pipeline is showing signs of adapting to the increasing understanding of aberrant signaling pathways and causes of liver cancer. A large portion of pipeline products target components of known dysfunctional signaling pathways, such as Wnt/ß–catenin signaling, which is commonly mutated in liver cancer tumor samples. By aligning the treatment with specific disease-causing features, the damaging off-target cytotoxic effects of treatment can be reduced, resulting in safer and more efficacious therapies.
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