The Southeast Asian breast cancer market, which covers South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, is set to rise from $942.3 million in 2015 to $2.7 billion in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 16.2%.
According to business intelligence provider GBI Research’s latest report, this relatively strong growth can be attributed to increases in diagnosed prevalence, and the annual cost of therapy due to higher uptake of costlier drugs.
Deekshita Allavarapu, an analyst for GBI Research, explains: “In 2012, around 1.7 million new cases were diagnosed globally, making it the most common cancer in women. Previously, the majority of these incident cases occurred in developed regions such as the US and Europe, while less developed countries, including several Southeast Asian countries, had lower incidence.
“However, over the past decade, a steep rise in breast cancer cases has been witnessed in developing nations, which now contribute equally to the total incidence. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as changing lifestyle habits and aging populations.”
Herceptin still gold standard
The current market for breast cancer consists of chemotherapies, hormonal therapies and targeted therapies. Herceptin [trastuzumab, from Roche (ROG: SIX)] is the gold standard monoclonal antibody for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2-positive disease, and is prescribed in nearly all settings. Although it is available across Southeast Asia, its use is limited in most countries due to affordability issues and limitations surrounding the diagnosis of HER2 status.
Ms Allavarapu continues: “In countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, where affordability is a limiting factor, the expected launch of biosimilar versions of trastuzumab and bevacizumab [Roche’s Avastin] will result in more patients being treated with biosimilars, increasing the treated pool for targeted therapy and boosting the annual cost of therapy.”
She adds that the launch of new pipeline therapies with better efficacy – including AstraZeneca’s (LSE: AZN) Lynparza (olaparib), Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI) neratinib, Merck & Co’s (NYSE: MRK) Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Novartis’ (NOVN: VC) Kisqali (ribociclib) – is also expected to drive market growth during the forecast period, particularly in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. The pipeline will most likely address the unmet needs in triple-negative breast cancer.”