Hepatocellular Carcinoma Drugs Market – Global Industry Insights, Trends, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis, 2018-2026

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major type of primary liver cancer that arises from the liver cells or hepatocytes. The disease is found to occur mainly in patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis, obesity, and diabetes. Diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma is mainly done by imaging tests such as ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, and liver biopsy. Treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma mainly includes radiation therapy, ablation therapy in addition to chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy. A majority of the HCC patients are diagnosed at the end-stage of liver dysfunction. Due to poor prognosis of the condition, mortality rate is approximately the same as the incidence rate. Therefore, early detection of the cancer is an important parameter to improve the survival of affected patients, thus aiding in growth of the global hepatocellular carcinoma drugs market.

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Market Dynamics

Increasing incidence of global hepatocellular carcinoma cases is a major factor augmenting market growth. According to the research by International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, 2014, HCC is the sixth most common type of cancer worldwide and third most common cause of death worldwide, fifth for men and eighth for women. The disease accounts for more than 5% of all cancers and for 80-90% of primary liver cancers. Also, according to the Addis Ababa University, 2017, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounted to 854,000 new cases of liver cancer and 810,000 related deaths in 2015. Furthermore, increasing incidence and mortality of hepatocellular carcinoma is attributed to the emergence of new risk factors such as hepatitis B and C viral infections, metabolic disorders such as diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and exposure to toxins such as alcohol and aflatoxin.

Moreover, clinical advancements integrated with the approval of novel drugs by the regulatory agencies for treating hepatocellular carcinoma is augmenting growth of the market. For instance, in April 2017, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration expanded the indications of regorafenib (Stivarga) manufactured by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., for treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. The therapy showed significant improvement in survival for patients after the failure of standard treatments. Also, in 2017, the U.S. FDA granted accelerated approval for nivolumab (Opdivo) drug developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

However, the side effects associated with the drugs such as anemia, constipation, low white blood cell count, pneumonia are the factors restraining growth of the market.

Regional Dynamics

Regional segmentation of the global hepatocellular carcinoma drugs market by Coherent Market Insights comprises North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. North America is expected to hold a dominant position in the global hepatocellular carcinoma drugs market over the forecast period, owing to increasing prevalence of the disease and the rising number of clinical trials undertaken by the manufacturers to address the unmet medical needs of the patients. According to the survey by the Health Science Department, University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA), 2017, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for three quarters of liver cancers in the U.S. with an estimated 40,000 Americans diagnosed with liver cancer in 2017 and more than 28,000 deaths are reported from the disease. Also, in April 2018, Eli Lilly and Company completed Phase 3 research study of Cyramza (ramucirumab) as a single agent in the second-line treatment of people with hepatocellular carcinoma, also known as liver cancer.

Asia Pacific is expected to gain significant traction in the global hepatocellular carcinoma drugs market owing to rising number of research and development activities undertaken by the manufacturers in the region to develop effective therapies. For instance, in February 2017, Daiichi Sankyo, a pharmaceutical company in Japan completed the Phase-3 study of tivantinib indicated for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma treated with other therapies.

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Competitive Analysis

The manufactures are focused on strategic collaborations to jointly develop and commercialize immunotherapies indicated to treat broad range of tumors. For instance, in 2014, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. signed a strategic collaboration agreement to jointly develop and commercialize multiple immunotherapies as single agents and combination therapies with Opdivo, to help address the unmet medical needs of patients with cancer in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Also, in 2015, Novartis Pharmaceuticals initiated the Phase 2 trials to compare the safety and efficacy for dovitinib and sorafenib in adult patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Key players operating in the global hepatocellular carcinoma drugs market include Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Bayer AG, Merck & Co., Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, AbbVie Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Celgen Corporation, Amgen Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Pfizer Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

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