Oncology is the branch of medical science dealing with cancer research and treatment. There are several research facilities and universities identifying unique proteins in oncology for developing diagnostics. Several studies are underway to discover new proteins that play a role in cancer. Currently there are a number of companies and/or their collaborators engaged in developing several protein drugs in cancer. Surgical treatments and radiation therapy, though effective at treating primary tumors, are not found to be successful in detecting metastatic tumor cells and those flowing in the bloodstream, making treatment of these cancer cells very difficult. Cancer is one of the largest causes of death worldwide and finding leads to cure or control the disease is one of the primary goals of governments globally.
The global proteins in oncology market has been segmented based on protein type and geography. Protein types include recombinant non-glycosylated proteins, recombinant glycosylated proteins and recombinant peptides. Geographically, North America and Europe lead the global proteins in oncology market thanks to the very stringent regulatory environment for clearing the products. Asia-Pacific countries such as China and India are estimated to be the fastest-growing markets. South Korea and Brazil are also poised to register high growth in the coming years due to boost in biosimilars market. The services that can be provided in the global proteins in oncology market include contract research organizations and contract manufacturing organizations.
Worldwide increase in the prevalence of cancer and the rising awareness of the therapeutic and commercial opportunities offered by new oncology treatments have provided a major incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to pursue the development of new agents for the treatment of cancer. Proteins or peptide drugs are usually required to be administered only by injection due to their large and labile nature. Peptide drugs are used effectively in monitoring various tumors and related therapies. They selectively are known to bind responsive versus unresponsive tumors. Therefore, this advantage associated with the use of peptides assists their use in assessing tumor response and evaluating its effectiveness in cancer therapy.
The main challenge for the newer generation of recombinant drugs seems to be the new route of administration, new formulations and consequently even higher efficiency and safety. Though the parenteral route of administration is the most common, there are advances being made to deliver medicines through the oral route, which is considered to be the most preferred one due to better patient compliance.
Recently new research has demonstrated that attaching a cancer killer protein to white blood cells annihilates metastasis. Isolation of a protein named as TRAIL by researchers at Cornell University in the U.S. demonstrated killing of cancer cells on contact. The TRAIL protein is binded with leukocytes (white blood cells) that are present across the bloodstream. The cancer cell is essentially known to kill itself when it comes in contact with TRAIL protein. The mechanism has been surprising and unexpectedly effective as compared to targeting the cancer cells with liposomes.
The key players contributing to the global proteins in oncology market include Actavis, Inc., Biocon Ltd., Celltrion, Inc., Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd., Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Hospira, Inc., Merck, Mylan, Inc., Roche Holding Ltd., Sandoz, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Wockhardt Ltd. Expansion of product portfolio enables these companies to gain a competitive advantage over other players in the market. Strengthening of market position by extensive investments in research and development is also one of the business strategies undertaken by the key players. A lot of research is still to be carried out in the protein recombinant drugs in oncology market which will come along with years of efforts and high risk.
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