Oncolytic Viral Therapy Market

Global Industry Analysis (2018 – 2021) – Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2022 – 2026)

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Interest in Oncolytic Viral Therapies for Cancer Growing Rapidly

Over the years, worldwide, cancer scenario is worsening with the rising number of patients each passing year. Hundreds of regimens have been developed and yet the new interventions are anticipated. However, combating cancers remains a distant dream. Today, oncolytic viral therapies are highly rated cancer treatments under development. They employ live, genetically altered viruses to target cancer cells, and stimulate the body’s own immune system against it. Oncolytic viruses are high on efficacy, and safety parameters as compared to traditional chemotherapies. It is only in the recent past that oncolytic viral therapies have begun to receive approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is a strong factor expected to give a push to the oncolytic viral therapy market. As of now, only two oncolytic viral therapies are marketed. Moreover, compared to traditional small molecule, or biologic therapies, working with live viruses demands a unique set of capabilities and assets.

High Incidence Rates of Diverse Indications Raise Demand for Oncolytic Viral Therapies

Oncology represents 20+ different indications but a major chunk of the revenue stems from only five of them. In 2020, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), prostate cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) accounted for ~65% of the market. These five have large incidence rates, and unmet need. Some other common cancer types are of the brain, head & neck, skin, thyroid, pancreatic, bladder, kidney and renal pelvis, and soft tissue. The three most common cancers in women are of the breast, lung, and colon and rectum, expected to be collectively accounting for ~50% of all new cancer diagnoses by 2026. The statistics point to extraordinary scope for the penetration of oncolytic viral therapy in cancer space over the foreseeable future.

Oncology Continues to be Main R&D Area with Highest Clinical Development Expenditure

Innovation in oncology is accelerating and the highest number of novel FDA approvals are predicted in the current US pipeline. The projected total clinical development spend is US$ 82.0 Bn in the US, oncology holds the largest share of clinical development spending, with 37.4% of total pipeline expenditure, and 28.7% of total pipeline FDA approvals. Moreover, it is one of the most expensive areas witnessing extensive therapeutic developments. In 2015, the FDA approved the use of Imlygic (talimogene laherparevec (T-VEC) for the treatment of patients with melanoma lesions in the skin, and lymph nodes. This is the first oncolytic viral therapy approval of the FDA - and marketed by Amgen. The other oncolytic virus, Oncorine (Adenovirus type 5), is available in China - and marketed by Shanghai Sunway Biotech.

Several other viruses are undergoing clinical trials, a few of which that been tested in preclinical trials are Adenovirus, Reovirus, Paramyxovirus (measles virus), Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1), Newcastle-disease Virus (NDV), and Poxvirus (vaccinia virus). The global oncolytic viral therapy market exhibits a huge incremental opportunity potential, and over 40 companies are testing drug candidates in the late stage of discovery, or in preclinical phase. Major players are prominently targeting melanoma, breast cancer, and glioblastoma.

Cancer Screening Took a Back Seat amid COVID-19 Outbreak, Creating a Setback for Market

Oncology is one of the worst hit therapeutic areas amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales of products in oncology, and blood disease areas have declined in the near-term as a result of inadequate availability of physicians. Most of the top 15 companies have experienced decreased demand for physician-administered products. Emergency hospitalisation of COVID-19 patients has also been the key factor pulling the oncology drug sales down. The Lancet article recently published suggests ~60% decrease in new clinical trials for cancer drugs, and biological therapies during the pandemic. In the US, only 15,453 people underwent cancer screening tests between March and June 2020, compared to 60,344 in the same four months of 2019. Cancer drug supply also witnessed disruption throughout 2020.

North America Leads its Way in Global Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Market

The US has been the prominent market in the global oncolytic virus immunotherapy landscape, and is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR over the forecast period, owing to high prevalence of cancers, and robust R&D expenditure by leading companies. As per National Cancer Institute, As of January 2019, there were an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors in the US, projected to reach 22.2 million by 2030. Moreover, Exchequer had to bear the national cost for cancer care in tune of US$150.8 Bn in 2018. The future costs are predicted to increase as more people are being diagnosed with cancer, and more expensive treatments are being adopted as the standards of care. The projected total clinical development spend is US$ 82.0 Bn in the US, oncology holds the largest share of clinical development spending, with 37.4% of the total pipeline expenditure, and 28.7% of the total pipeline FDA approvals.

Companies Explore Strategic Collaborations to Gain a Competitive Edge

Key companies in the global oncolytic viral therapy market are actively seeking collaboration opportunities to consolidate their market positions, and thereby increase market penetration. In January 2021, Turnstone Biologics Corp. acquired California-based Myst Therapeutics to extend its portfolio of oncolytic virus candidates. Earlier in February 2018, Merck & Co took over Viralytics for US$ 400 Mn to boost its oncolytic virus immunotherapy business. Besides, some of the key players in the oncolytic viral therapy market are – BioVex, Inc. (Amgen, Inc.), Cold Genesys, Inc., Genelux Corporation, DNAtrix Therapeutics, Oncolytics Biotech, Inc., Lokon Pharma AB, Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., ORYX GmbH & Co. KG, Takara Bio, PsiOxus Therapeutics, SillaJen, Inc., Viralytics Ltd. (Merck & Co., Inc.), Turnstone Biologics, Vyriad, and Shanghai Sunway Biotech.

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