Analysts Foresee Substantial Growth in Glioblastoma Treatment Market

Opdivo expected to supersede Avastin as standard of care for recurrent disease

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a disease with some of the highest unmet needs in oncology, with patients having a median overall survival (OS) of between one and two years. The lack of effective therapies is primarily due to the inability of drugs to penetrate the blood–brain barrier.

The GBM market is currently dominated by temozolomide (Temodar, Merck) and bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech), which are considered to be the standards of care for newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM, respectively. However, according to a new report from the research and consulting firm GlobalData, the GBM market is set to undergo substantial growth between 2014 and 2024 due to a number of companies developing treatments in the late-stage pipeline, which is dominated by immunotherapies.

“Immunotherapies have shown significant efficacy in other oncology indications, and as they affect the tumor microenvironment rather than directly targeting the tumor, they make attractive candidates for glioblastoma treatments,” Maxime Bourgognon, an oncology analyst with GlobalData, said in a statement. 

The main driver of growth in the GBM market will be the launch of the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb), which is expected to supersede bevacizumab to become the standard of care for recurrent GBM. Nivolumab is currently undergoing a phase 3 trial in combination with another cancer drug, ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb).

The second-largest driver of market growth will be the launch of the therapeutic vaccine rindopepimut (Rintega, Celldex) for epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII)-positive GBM. The uptake of rindopepimut will be partially facilitated by the availability of EGFRvIII companion diagnostics, which will help to identify patients most likely to respond to the treatment. In 2015, a phase 2 study of rindopepimut, which was granted breakthrough therapy status by the FDA, showed that treated patients with recurrent GBM experienced six months of progression-free survival as well as a reduction in the need for additional steroids.

The launch of ABT-414 (AbbVie), an EGFR-targeting monoclonal antibody drug conjugate, as well as various autologous cell vaccines, such as ICT-107 (Immunocellular Therapeutics Ltd.) and DCVax-L (Northwest Biotherapeutics), will also have an impact on the GBM market.

The biggest market constrainer will be the launch of biosimilar bevacizumab. In addition, health care providers in the seven major markets (U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan) are becoming increasingly cost conscious, GlobalData says.

Sources: GlobalData; January 2016; and BioSpace; January 14, 2016.