ReportsThe Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) market in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries, including India, China, Australia, South Korea, and Japan, will experience strong growth from $2.7 billion in 2015 to $4.9 billion by 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company’s latest report states that immune-checkpoint inhibitors, such as Opdivo and Keytruda, will be particularly important drivers of growth, with the former recently gaining approval in Japan, Australia and South Korea and the latter currently undergoing Phase III trials in Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Stephen Palaparthy, Analyst for GBI Research, explains: “Several clinical trials are being done to test the safety and efficacy of drugs that can be used for first- and second-line treatment, which could enter the market in the forecast period. Yervoy, necitumumab, veliparib and bavituximab are being developed for first-line treatment of non-squamous patients, whereas Opdivo, Yervoy and necitumumab are forecast to experience strong uptake in squamous patients.”

Other than the introduction of these premium therapies, increasingly elderly populations, higher levels of pollution and passive smoking, and diversified market reform will boost NSCLC drug sales, according to GBI Research.

Palaparthy continues: “Although the percentage of smokers is decreasing across APAC nations, the number of lung cancer patients is increasing because the disease is diagnosed more often in older individuals with smoking habits. Exposure to radon gas, the inhalation of a range of chemical carcinogens, including asbestos, radiation, diesel exhaust fumes and air pollution, and genetic factors, have also contributed to the increase in lung cancer prevalence.”

“In terms of market reform, access to treatment for the disease is favourable in Australia, Japan and South Korea thanks to proper reimbursement policies, and an improved awareness and lack of social stigma about lung cancer, enabling more people to be diagnosed at an early stage and receive treatment,” he adds.

The analyst adds that while a number of patents for important NSCLC drugs including Avastin (bavituximab), Alimta (pemetrexed), Tarceva (erlotinib) and Iressa (gefitinib), will all expire during the forecast period, the effect on the market will be offset by the expected entry of targeted therapies.