Medications That Are Shaping the Prostate Cancer Market

December 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

Prostate Cancer comes third as the most type of Cancer affecting men in America. Annually, this disease causes around 30,000 men to die.

This figure relates to the estimates published by authoritative bodies like the American Cancer Society.

There are lots of drugs in the prostate cancer market, and these are extending the lives of the patients even as they help to make the prostate cancer market to take shape.

Some of the most significant medications that have really made the prostate cancer market taken shape are discussed below:

Prostate cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men with approximately 500,000 cases diagnosed annually [1]. About half of these cases occur in the United States and about 2 million American men are living with the disease [2]. It is estimated that the prostate cancer market may grow to $7.8 billion by 2015 [3]. An aging population and the introduction of new, innovative drugs, which extend survival rates in patients with advanced prostate cancer, are significant factors fueling market growth.

The majority of new prostate cancer treatments are focused on extending long-term survival. In early stage prostate cancer, hormone therapy, which slows testosterone induced tumor growth, is the first-line treatment intended to minimize prostate tumor growth and prevent bone metastases. Zoladex (goserelin), a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist, is an example of a treatment that is used before and during radiation therapy in patients with localized prostate cancer. A combination treatment of Zoladex, flutamide, and radiation treatment has shown a significant increase in median disease-free survival of 4.4 years compared to 2.6 years for radiation alone (p<0.001)[4]. Zoladex, with $1.1 billion in annual sales, is sold by AstraZeneca (AZN) to treat prostate cancer and breast cancer. While many patients’ prostate cancer is held at bay by hormone therapy, resistance and progression frequently occur in these patients. Patients who have progressed despite hormone therapy and whose disease has spread outside the prostate are said to have metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Sanofi’s (SNY) Taxotere (docetaxel), an anti-mitotic chemotherapy, has been the first treatment choice for mCRPC patients. Before hitting the patent cliff in 2010, Taxotere accounted for 23% of the total sales of prostate cancer drugs. It was the first chemotherapy shown to extend survival rates of hormone refractory prostate cancer patients, with median overall survival of 18.9 months compared to 16.5 months for mitoxantrone (p<0.001) in a randomized, controlled trial. Taxotere chemotherapy is associated with severe side effects including neutropenia, leukopenia, anemia, hair loss, fluid retention, mouth sores, weakness, and in some patients, nerve pain. Before losing patent protection, Taxotere sales peaked near $2 billion annually but dipped to $1 billion in 2011 and continue to slide. In order to shore up this franchise, Sanofi has received initial approval for and continues to develop the antimitotic drug Jevtana (cabazitaxel).

Sanofi hopes that Jevtana will supersede Taxotere in the prostate cancer treatment paradigm. The pivotal Phase 3 clinical study for Jevtana tested the drug in combination with prednisone in mCRPC patients who had failed Taxotere/prednisone therapy. Overall survival for Jevtana treated patients was 15.1 months, compared to 12.7 months for mitoxantrone (p<0.0001). Jevtana’s 2011 sales increased 135% over 2010 to approximately $244 million. Projections into 2018 have total peak sales pegged at $500 million annually. In order for Jevtana to reach blockbuster status, Sanofi will have to show that it is more effective than Taxotere as a front-line chemotherapy. The company is conducting a large non-inferiority trial comparing the two drugs in this setting for mCRPC patients. Considering that the drugs have the same mechanism of action and clinical trial accumulated for Jevtana to date, this trial is not a slam-dunk for Sanofi.

Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Zytiga (abiraterone), a testosterone synthesis inhibitor, is currently approved to treat mCRPC patients who have failed Taxotere chemotherapy. Annual sales of Zytiga are expected to climb to over $1 billion, but not due to its ability to extend survival in this patient population. The ease of taking oral Zytiga may enhance its position among patients over Jevtana and other drugs in the post-chemotherapy setting, fortifying its future market position. On June 15, 2012, Johnson & Johnson announced that it had submitted marketing applications to both the FDA and EMA for approval of Zytiga in a pre-chemotherapy setting for mCRPC patients. Click here to read more.

Conclusively, the above medications are common medications that are making the prostate cancer market striving. Estimated projection of this market by 2015 is around $7.8 billion.

This is really a bolster for those in the business. The novel drugs above are known to extend the survival rates of patients with advanced prostate cancer.

This fact and the undeniable aging population are fueling the market attractive market growth. Indeed, the market for prostate cancer medications has really come a long way.

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