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Products as portfolios: positioning immuno-oncology products

The last few years have seen a huge proliferation in the number of products entering the oncology space, with a lot more currently being investigated in clinical trials. Effective positioning in this situation is vital to cut through the noise, so we've outlined some key learnings from our extensive experience in this area.
The last few years have seen a huge proliferation in the number of products entering the oncology space, with a lot more currently being investigated in clinical trials. This is flooding the marketplace with treatment options but also bringing a great level of confusion to physicians, payers and patients.

Effective positioning in this situation is vital to cut through the noise and allow your customers to short-circuit a treatment decision when they diagnose a patient with a particular disease. Immuno-oncology products are bringing even greater complexity to this problem.

Here, we outline some key points we've learned from our recent extensive experience in this area.

Cancer care has changed for the long-term

The cancer landscape is changing. Immunotherapeutic advances are driving significant improvements in treatment options for sufferers of many types of cancers and blood disorders. These changes, in turn, are having a fundamental impact on approaches to treatment and standards of care in the same way that surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy have done in the past.

Changing the structure of the market in this way is leading to a lot of excitement amongst stakeholders of all kinds, from patients and carers to specialists and nurses. However, we are reaching a stage now where we cannot just rely on the ‘immuno-oncology’ trend in order to generate buzz.

The buzz surrounding ‘immuno-oncology’ makes it difficult to delineate between the different mechanisms of action and real benefits brought by these new products. 

This means that it’s necessary to show specificity and differentiation; particularly across and between inhibitory and activating targets of the novel immunotherapeutic products of today.

Within solid tumours, checkpoint inhibitors, particularly PD-(L)1s, are the source of a lot of excitement, as many have shown genuinely astounding improvements in survival over previously established standards of care. These products work across a multitude of tumour types, and opportunities for further developments and trials seem to be ceaseless. In addition, developments in oncolytic viruses mean the options for patients with certain solid tumours are ever-expanding. Within blood cancers, PD-(L)1s and also monoclonal antibodies, in particular CD38s, are redefining the approach to treatment.


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9th August 2016

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