Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - IMS Oncology Supplement September 2007 - (Page 3)

Riding the Wave With the last decade seeing some of the most important advances in the history of cancer treatment, we could be experiencing the oncology market’s golden age. But pharma companies should be prepared for the intensifying competition ahead, says Graham Lewis. Is this the golden age for oncology? In many ways, yes. Over the last few years, new products have delivered the promise of improved treatment outcomes for millions of patients suffering from some of the most prevalent and intractable forms of cancer. While we are still some distance away from conquering the disease, recent advances in targeted agents, oral delivery and even preventive cancer vaccines have taken us much further down the path. Three breakthroughs in particular over the last eight years have done more than change the way that cancer is treated — they have changed the way we think of the disease itself. With the launch of Herceptin® by Genentech in 1998 came the first targeted therapy supported by a specific diagnostic test, and this has revolutionized the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. Then in 2001 came Gleevec,® an oral therapy for chronic myeloid leukaemia from Novartis, which opened up the possibility of treating the disease through long-term maintenance therapy, allowing us to think of cancer as a chronic illness rather than a life-ending one. And the latest development embraces a key principle of public health vaccination. With HPV vaccines such as Gardasil® and Cervarix,® the industry has for the first time attacked the root cause of a condition in the cancer spectrum, making one form of the disease preventable. The result of this activity is a consensus among all stakeholders that through the industry’s innovation scientific advances are indeed winning individual battles against the disease. Medical experts suggest that this is just the beginning, with science poised for a further leap forward in bringing continued improvement in treatment outcomes. Specifically, optimism springs from the better understanding of genetic factors and sub-cellular biology as well as improvements in diagnostic technology and chemoprevention. How is the competitive landscape evolving? What we are seeing in the wake of these scientific advances is established players and newcomers investing heavily in new product development — especially in biologically-led, targeted therapies. The oncology pipeline is currently the richest in number and potential of all therapeutic categories, with nearly 2000 individual molecules being investigated by pharma companies around the world — signalling a determined and ongoing commitment to finding innovative new treatments for cancer. Several large pharma companies have committed more than 20% of their late stage pipeline projects to oncology. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - IMS Oncology Supplement September 2007

Riding the Wave
Zero Sum Game

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - IMS Oncology Supplement September 2007