Immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy used to fight against cancer and infectious diseases. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, stopping cancer from spreading in other parts of the body, and improving the immune system. Rising cases of chronic diseases, increasing adoption of targeted therapy over traditional therapy, and growing demand for monoclonal antibodies contribute to the market growth.
The immunotherapy drugs market was valued at USD 158.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast period.
The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, such as cancer, kidney failure, and heart diseases, is surging the demand for immunotherapy. In these disease treatments, immunotherapy drugs emerge as an evolving and promising treatment that works by accelerating the immune system. Immunotherapy drugs include checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T-cell therapy.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. It was responsible for about 9.6 million death in 2018 that is about one in every six deaths. The American Cancer Society, on the other hand, estimated that more than 1.7 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in North America in 2019. As per the British Society for Immunology, the incidence of autoimmune conditions is increasing by 3% and 9% year-on-year. This includes a 7.0% increase per year of rheumatic diseases and a 6.3% increase in endocrinological conditions.
Immunotherapy is widely used in cancer treatment. Cell-based immunotherapies are useful for some types of cancers. Therapies, including granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), imiquimod, interferons, as well as parts of cellular membrane from bacteria, are approved for medical use. In addition to this, immunotherapies are used to treat allergies, reduce the rejection of transplanted organs, and dampen autoimmunity.
Unlike generic drugs that have active pharmaceutical ingredients, such as original drugs, biosimilars are nearly identical to their creator biologic compounds. They are less expensive than biologics, further rising their adoption across the end-users. Companies in the biosimilars market are tapping into opportunities in orphan biosimilars. Due to the high prevalence of rare diseases, companies have a renewed purpose to steer innovation in biosimilars. Thus, manufacturers are increasing efforts to fulfill the unmet needs of patients with rare diseases by increasing the availability of low-cost biosimilars.
The bacterial sepsis segment holds the largest market share on account of its surging prevalence across the globe. As per the report released by SAGE Journals, in January 2019, around 62.2% of the patients were diagnosed with Gram-negative bacteria and 46.8% Gram-positive bacteria. Further, the Gram-negative bacteria segment dominates the bacterial sepsis segment. Robust R&D activities and increased regulatory approval of novel solutions are expected to support the segment growth. GenMark Diagnostics, Inc., for example, obtained U.S. approval in April 2019. FDA clearance for their new panel test was designed to diagnose and cure sepsis-causing gram-negative bacteria.
Sepsis is the sixth most frequent cause of hospitalization globally. Rapid and precise identification of pathogen-causing agents remains a significant problem in contemporary healthcare. Thus, recognizing the causative pathogen plays an important role in choosing an effective antibiotic therapy, such as molecular diagnosis (MDx). Due to its simple feasibility and precision in the diagnosis processes, molecular diagnostics have gained popularity amongst many international corporations and organizations.
The blood culture study, on the other hand, has become a gold standard for the molecular testing process for fast and precise pathogen characterization. However, as compared to traditional methods, the cost of molecular diagnostics remains high. This scenario will create lucrative opportunities for key players to develop cost-effective solutions. For early identification of bacterial and viral infections and improved patient management, numerous companies are investing in point-of-care molecular diagnostics. Apart from this, the segment is largely driven by the well-established healthcare system with fast penetration of innovative medical technology, coupled with the increasing importance of early disease detection.
North America dominates the immunotherapy drugs market. As per the National Cancer Institute, as of January 2019, there were an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors in the U.S.It further stated that by 2030, the number of cancer survivors is expected to reach 22.2 million. The rise in adoption of advanced cancer treatment, along with the growing cancer prevalence has surged the demand for advanced solutions.
In addition to this, the growing government funding and support to boost R&D, technological advancement in next-generation sequencing and personalized medicine, and the presence of a robust healthcare research framework positively influence the regional market growth.
Asia-Pacific is expected to show the highest growth in the immunotherapy drugs market on account of the introduction of advanced immunotherapy drugs in China and Japan. These countries have numerous ongoing clinical trials and FDA approvals for new drug molecules and combination therapies. These approvals of new drugs in China and Japan are contributing to the adoption of immunotherapy for cancer treatment. Moreover, lack of regulatory framework, several cultural inhibitions, and growing investments from the key market players, such as AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Inc., and Pfizer, Inc., accelerates the regional market growth.