News Feature | January 21, 2014

GBI Research Reports mAbs Market For Gastric Cancers Will Expand By 2019

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By Cassandra Leger

According to recent research conducted by GBI Research, the market for Monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs), designed to treat gastric and esophageal cancers, is expected to expand by 2019. mAbs are used to treat certain cancers. Herceptin has been approved by the FDA to treat breast cancer. While the drug is primarily marketed for and targeted towards the breast cancer market, in 2010 the FDA also approved Herceptin to treat gastric and esophageal cancer - making it the only mAbs approved for both cancers.

Herceptin’s patent effectively expires this year in the European Union, while in the U.S. its patent will remain in effect until 2019. According to GBI Research, during this time the market for mAbs produced to treat gastric cancers will expand and earnings are expected to double by 2019.

Dominic Trewartha, an analyst for GBI Research, stated “Overall, Herceptin is able to improve survival times to a significant extent when compared with chemotherapy alone, without adding a substantial amount of side effects or safety concerns in Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor-2 (HER-2) positive patients. However, its efficacy is not sufficient to bring about a sustained remission in most cases of advanced disease, or to replace conventional chemotherapy completely in earlier stages.”

While Herceptin remains the only approved mAbs for these two designations, there are other pipeline drugs being researched. Currently 33 have been studied for gastric cancer and eight have been studied for esophageal cancer. However, according to the GBI Research press release, none of these late stage studies are expected to bring significant improvement into the treatment of these cancers. Both have a low survival rate due to the onset of late symptoms and go undiagnosed for years until it is too late to make a difference.

Trewartha concluded by expressing, “There is still a need for stronger products with superior efficacy to treat both gastric and esophageal cancers in the metastatic and early settings periods. Also, with a large HER-2 negative patient population that is not eligible for treatment with Herceptin, there is a strong unmet need and opportunity for therapies that are effective in these patients, including those who overexpress HER-2.”