Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney or renal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, with around 80-90% of the cancer cases reported being diagnosed as renal cell carcinoma. Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is another type of kidney cancer present among a few individuals (5% – 10% of the kidney cancer patients in the U.S.). At times, surgical treatment alone is not sufficient for treating RCC; if a person has developed metastatic cancer, he/she could be recommended for additional treatment regimens. Targeted therapies or immunotherapies are the most commonly prescribed treatments for kidney cancer. Targeted therapies are known to act at the cellular level, hence their accuracy and effectiveness increases with reduced toxicity. Therefore, kidney cancer drugs are among the only life-prolonging treatment regimens available for patients with advanced stage metastatic tumor.
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The global kidney cancer drugs market is expected to grow at a stable growth rate during the forecast period, due to various factors such as increasing geriatric population and rising incidence of kidney cancer as well as approval of novel drug molecules. However, few factors that are expected to negatively affect the growth of the market are increasing preference for generic drug variants and high prices of branded cancer drugs.
The global kidney cancer drugs market has been segmented based on major branded drugs and geography. Based on prominent brands of drugs, the kidney cancer drugs market is divided into: Afinitor (Everolimus), Avastin (Bevacizumab), Inlyta (Axitinib), Nexavar (Sorafenib), Proleukin (Aldesleukin/Interleukin-2), Sutent (Sunitinib), Torisel (Temsirolimus), and Votrient (Pazopanib). In terms of revenue, Sutent was the largest-selling kidney cancer drug in 2013. This is because Sutent is the most commonly prescribed drug in the first-line treatment against kidney cancer and is among the most studied drugs in its class for multiple indications, as it targets multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). In February 2006, the U.S. FDA approved Sunitinib for two indications, namely, RCC and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), making it the first cancer drug to receive approval in the U.S. However, GSK’s Votrient is expected become the market leader by 2017 surpassing Sutent and other competitors due to low pricing and superior first-line penetration, displaying the fastest growth rate at CAGR of over 40% from 2012 to 2016 and over 5% from 2016 to 2020. The market growth of Votrient is supported by the fact that during Phase III comparison trials, the drug showed better patient compatibility and safety profile with lower side effects as compared with interferon, placebo and other targeted therapies.
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North America is the largest market for kidney cancer drugs due the commercial availability of major branded drugs for kidney cancer treatment and presence of large patient pool suffering from various forms of kidney cancer. North America dominated the market mainly due to the presence of a large patient population and the lucrative health care system tailor-made for the pharmaceutical industry. Exclusive patent rights and presence of a large health care insurance base have driven the pharmaceutical market in the U.S., thereby making North America the market leader for kidney cancer drugs. Asia Pacific is expected to observe an admirable growth due to multiple factors such as rising incidence of renal cell carcinoma, growing geriatric population and rapid economic development in nations such as India, China, Singapore, Malaysia and others, that contribute to the growth of kidney cancer drugs market in the region.
At present, the market is highly consolidated and aggressive in nature due to the presence of biggest pharmaceutical giants such as Bayer AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Novartis AG and Pfizer, Inc. Among these, Pfizer, Inc. grabbed the largest share of the global kidney cancer drugs market in 2013. Since, Sutent (Sunitinib) and Inlyta (Axitinib) are the leading drugs for the treatment of kidney cancer, the global market of kidney cancer drugs is ruled by one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, Inc. However, other established market players such as Novartis and GSK are focusing on expanding their geographical presence as well as distribution network in emerging nations, since Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East are developing regions with an increasing incidence rate of various forms of kidney cancer and improving economic conditions.