globaldataThe colorectal cancer space, which covers the eight major markets (8MM) of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan, and China, is set to rise from $8.15 billion in 2015 to almost $11 billion by 2025, representing a moderate compound annual growth rate of 3%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that the major drivers of this growth include ageing populations and rising incident cases of colorectal cancer across most markets, the launch and uptake of premium-priced therapies and the resulting increase in the number of patients upon disease recurrence that are treated with branded therapies rather than generic chemotherapy.

For example, Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is expected to be the first immune checkpoint inhibitor approved for the treatment of microsatellite high colorectal cancer, and enjoy rapid uptake across the 8MM.

Chiara Marchetti, PhD, GlobalData’s analyst covering oncology and haematology, explains: “Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma’s napabucasin and Array BioPharma’s combination of encorafenib + binimetinib are also expected to launch in 2020 in the second-line setting, thus addressing some of the main unmet needs in colorectal cancer, particularly the insurgence of acquired resistance to available therapies and the poor prognosis of BRAF mutant patients.”

“The launch of these drugs will facilitate a gradual increase in the number of patients receiving branded therapy across different lines of metastatic therapy, thus increasing the patient pool of these segments and the overall colorectal cancer market size.”

Despite these new drugs, there will remain a lack of development of neoadjuvant/adjuvant pipeline agents for the treatment of resectable high-risk colorectal cancer. This setting has significant unmet needs, and represents a lucrative opportunity for developers of efficacious treatments that can improve cure rates for resected patients.

With the lack of any new premium-priced agents in resectable high-risk colorectal cancer, GlobalData expects the status quo of drug treatment to remain with the prescription of generic and relatively cheap chemotherapies throughout the forecast period.

Marchetti continues: “Increasing cost-consciousness will limit premium pricing opportunities for pipeline agents. Healthcare austerity measures are being incorporated across the major markets, and drug companies will need to consider the changing reimbursement landscape when determining pricing strategies for their drugs. This era of austerity and healthcare reform will negatively affect companies’ ability to gain reimbursement approval for new CRC therapies.”