Technology Can Reduce Costs/Clinical Trial Failure Rates For Hematological Cancer Drugs

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The future of successful drug development in hematological oncology lies in identifying subsets of patients who benefit from particular therapies using predictive biomarkers.

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Medmeme, LLC., a global leader in comprehensive, integrated medical and science information database platforms, has released the new syndicated TrendsmemeTM Report: Oncology – Hematological Cancers. It presents detailed information on companies, drugs, and the relevant issues in drug development and treatment. It has a particular focus on three indications—multiple myeloma (MM), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) - because these indications directly reveal trends in disease understanding, treatment patterns, R&D, company strategy, unmet needs, opportunities, and challenges, broadly across the hematologic cancer category.

Medmeme CEO Mahesh Naithani describes challenges: “It’s estimated that by 2015 the global market in hematologic cancer drugs could reach $14 billion. However, the extremely high cost of research and development in this category is a great challenge to pharmaceutical companies developing therapies. It is a process with a success rate of only 5-10 percent because too often late-stage clinical trials are characterized by adverse side effects, small effects on survival, and/or low response rates that lead to drugs being abandoned at a higher rate compared with drugs in other therapeutic areas. Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development estimates a typical drug development cost at $1.3 billion, and needing 10-15 years to bring it to market. But the development of oncologic drugs has a tendency to amass higher costs because of these high failure rates. Hopefully, the TREAT Act currently proposed in the U.S. Congress could accelerate a review and approval process for drugs that are highly targeted therapies for serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions. That could help companies trying to tackle the hematologic cancers challenge.”

Examples of firms Medmeme reports on which have undertaken the oncologic drug development challenges are: Celgene, Takeda/Millennium, Novartis, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, and Abbott, among others such as Pharmacyclics, Onyx Therapeutics, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Ambit Biosciences, Clavis Pharma, and Amgen. Celgene is a dominant company in terms of sales, and its Revlimid is the dominant drug. Celgene reports Revlimid’s worldwide sales for 2011 were $3.2 billion, a 30 percent increase over 2010. Revlimid will dominate the MM market far into the future, Medmeme predicts, and has also shown efficacy against certain subtypes of NHL and AML.
Drug re-profiling, which is the application to FDA for the use of approved drugs to treat new indications, is also discussed in the report. It can open new options for treatment and has become increasingly popular within the hematologic cancer category. For example, in addition to Celgene’s Revlimid and Takeda/Millennium’s Velcade, the following drugs in this process on Medmeme’s watch list are: Merck’s Zolinza, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Erbitux, GlaxoSmithKline’s Arzerra, and Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Treanda.

The syndicated TrendsmemeTM Report: Oncology – Hematological Cancers can be purchased separately, or, along with other MedMeme reports in the new series, at discounted pricing. To learn more, see the website,, or contact Medmeme.

Medmeme, LLC                         
Yan Barshay, Executive Vice President                 
+1 212-725-5992                        

Ray Wright, Vice President, Sales
+ 1 508-278-4595

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