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Liver cancer therapeutics market controlled by the only approved drug, Nexavar

Industry Sector

Healthcare and Medical


9 January 2013


Alex De Angelis

Type of News


The global liver cancer therapeutics market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% over the next six years, increasing from a valuation of $374.3 million recorded in 2011, to hit a market value of $644.3 million by 2018.

About 18,500 cases of primary liver cancer are diagnosed each year. The most common form is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This is a tumour that begins in the main cells of the liver (hepatocytes). Primary liver cancer is twice as common in men as in women.

Surgical removal of liver tumours offers the best chance for a cure. Unfortunately, liver tumours are often inoperable because the tumour may be too large, or has grown into major blood vessels or other vital structures.

Sometimes, many small tumours are spread throughout the liver, making surgery too risky or impractical. Surgical removal is not possible for more than two-thirds of primary liver cancer patients and 90 percent of patients with secondary liver cancer.

Industry growth is expected to be driven by an increase in patient numbers, and growth in the Annual Cost of Therapy (ACT) per patient. This increased due to the approval of drug Nexavar (sorafenib) in the United States and Europe. The drug, which is co-developed and marketed by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, also aids in the treatment of primary kidney cancer.

The current competition in the liver cancer market is weak, as Nexavar is the only drug approved for advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) with the exception of Miripla (miriplatin) in Japan.

However, there are some molecules in Phase III development as first-line and second-line treatments which promise to influence the competitive landscape in the next two to three years.

The anticipated launch of Eli Lilly's ramucirumab (IMC-1121B), a monoclonal antibody in 2014; Celsion Corporation's ThermoDox in 2014; and PrevOnco in 2015 will drive the market forward.

For more information on the liver cancer therapeutics market, see the latest research: Liver Cancer Therapeutics Market

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