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Immuno-oncology, personalised medicine continues to drive pharma sector

New GlobalData survey identifies key trends impacting the industry

Personalised medicine

Immuno-oncology and personalised medicine will continue to be the most impactful trends shaping the pharmaceutical industry in 2020, according to GlobalData. 

The data and analytics company asked global industry stakeholders their opinions on which key trends are set to drive the pharmaceutical industry in the coming year.

The survey – published in GlobalData’s latest annual outlook report ‘The State of the Biopharmaceutical Industry – 2020’ – found that nearly three quarters of global industry stakeholders identified immuno-oncology (I-O) or personalised medicine as the most significant trends that will shape the pharma sector this year.

“For the second consecutive year, our survey found that a majority of respondents believe that I-O or personalised medicine are the top trends to watch, with 40% and 34%, respectively, selecting them as the most impactful areas of investment and innovation,” said Claire Herman, global director of therapy analysis and epidemiology at GlobalData.

Coming in after I-O and personalised medicines as the top most impactful trends was the growing role of real-world evidence and a rise in the use of electronic health records, with 28% and 22% respectively.

Despite being the top trends affecting the industry this year, there has been a lot of scepticism surrounding the accessibility of novel I-O therapies and personalised treatments.

Last November, GlobalData identified personalised medicine as a key improvement in the treatment pathway, but said that gaining access to these drugs still poses an issue.

“Due to trials being inherently more complex and expensive to conduct for personalised medicines, these costs ultimately are passed down to the end user, resulting in these drugs being priced at a premium, and likely being more intensely scrutinised at the level of reimbursement,” said Michael Breen, associate director at GlobalData.

A recent example of this issue is Bayer’s tumour-agnostic drug Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), which targets all solid tumours that display a NTRK gene fusion regardless of cancer type, but was ultimately rejected by the UK’s cost-effectiveness watchdog NICE.

When all was said and done, NICE decided that the drug was too expensive to be approved for use on the NHS, but maintained that it would be open to future discussion with Bayer for access to the drug.

Personalised medicines have been identified as key treatments by the UK’s health service, which is uniquely positioned for uptake of these drugs because of the NHS’ impressive genomics service.

As part of the NHS long-term plan, the health service plans to develop regular and more sophisticated strategies to improve genomic testing in clinical practice, following the success of NHS England’s world-leading 100,000 Genomes Project.

Despite rejecting Vitrakvi, NICE said that it was in discussions with Roche for accelerated access to its rival NTRK-inhibitor Rozlytrek (entrectinib), which is currently awaiting EU approval.

NICE said in a statement: “Another histology independent treatment, entrectinib (made by Roche), which NICE is also appraising could become the first histology independent treatment to be available to patients, provided it receives its marketing authorisation. NICE will be able to say more on this following a preliminary decision on its European licence.”

Article by
Lucy Parsons

21st January 2020

From: Research

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