Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market – Insights
An immune checkpoint inhibitor is a type of drug that blocks proteins called checkpoints that are made by some types of immune system cells, such as T cells, and some cancer cells. PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4/B7-1/B7-2 are some of the checkpoint proteins found on T cells or cancer cells. On the basis of functioning, immune checkpoint inhibitors are divided into programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) inhibitors, programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors, and cytotoxic t-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) inhibitors. Certain immune checkpoint inhibitors are used for the treatment of cancers such as non-small cell lung cancer, lymphoma, skin cancer, and breast cancer. These inhibitors target the immune system of the body instead of the tumors and enable the immune system to recognize and target cancer cells. Iplimumab, Nivolumab, Rituximab, Blinatumomab, Proleukin, Gardasil, and Kymriah are some of the commercially available immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market: Drivers
Development and launch of novel immune checkpoint inhibitors is expected to boost growth of the global immune checkpoint inhibitors market over the forecast period. Immune checkpoint inhibitors offer lesser adverse effects compared to conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and others. This in turn has prompted market players to focus on developing immune checkpoint inhibitors that are customized to attack or block particular targets. For instance, Iplimumab, a human monoclonal antibody blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4. Moreover, agents focusing on specific immune regulatory checkpoints programmed death-1 (PD-1) and programmed death ligand-1 and 2 (PD-L1) such as Nivolumab, Atezolimumab, and Pembrolizumab are being used for cell lung cancer. In April 2017, Genentech USA, Inc. received the U.S. FDA accelerated approval for TECENTRIQ (atezolizumab) for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC), who are not eligible for cisplatin chemotherapy. The product is currently in phase 4 clinical syudy.
Moreover, R&D in immune checkpoint inhibitors is also expected to boost growth of the global immune checkpoint inhibitors market. For instance, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) report, 2016, currently, over 130 biotech and 20 pharma companies are developing immuno-oncology therapies. Moreover, according to the New York-based, Cancer Research Institute (CRI), 2017, currently 2,004 immuno-oncology agents including 940 in clinical stage and 1,064 in preclinical stage are under development.
The global immune checkpoint inhibitors market size was valued at US$ 10,543.8 million in 2017, and is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 11.8% over the forecast period (2018 – 2026).
Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market: Restraints
High cost of immuno-oncology therapies is expected to hinder growth of the global immune checkpoint inhibitors market. For instance, Keytruda (Pembrolizumab), a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of various types of cancer cost around US$ 2,250 for a vial of 50 mg.
Table No.1: Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) Years of Approval and Indications
Year of Approval
Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) Indication
Specific Type of Metastatic Lung Cancer
Initial Treatment for Certain People with Advanced Bladder Cancer
Initial Treatment of Metastatic Non-Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Combination With Abraxane Accelerated Approval for People With PD-L1-Positive, Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Source: Company Annual Reports
Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market: Competitive Landscape
Major players operating in the global immune checkpoint inhibitors market include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Merck & Co., Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, AstraZeneca Plc., Novartis International AG, ImmunOs Therapeutics AG, Immutep Ltd., NewLink Genetics Corporation, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Pfizer, Inc.
Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market: Key Developments
Major players in the market are focused on collaborating with educational institutes for R&D in oncology treatment. For instance, in 2016, AbbVie and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center entered into a three-year agreement for focusing on immune system’s complete potential to fight against cancer.
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