Cancer Drug Sales Expected to Exceed $230 Billion by 2024

Palm Beach, FL –August 13, 2019 – For decades, big (and small) pharma companies have been trying to find ways to cure or at least devise better treatments for all types of cancers. While the war has not been won to find a cure, there have been many, many treatments and medications that can win the little wars and extend the patients lives and lifestyles. A fact that underlies how much attention and ‘soldiers’ are working on these ‘wins’ is the fact that, according to a report by Statista, “worldwide cancer drug sales are already way ahead of those of other drugs and the revenue generated by them is expected to grow even larger by 2024. This is according to a report recently released by consultancy Evaluate, which analyses trends in the pharmaceutical sector.”  Another report by Allied Market Research said that there are many reasons why this market should still grow substantially for the foreseeable future, saying: “Cancer has a widespread prevalence worldwide, which has led to rise in demand for cancer drugs. The key factors that are responsible for the growth of the oncology/cancer drugs market are surge in cancer research, rise in geriatric population worldwide, and increase in number of collaborations between pharmaceutical companies. In addition, rise in healthcare expenditure worldwide is expected to boost the market expansion. Moreover, high market growth potential in developing nations, rise in number of pipeline products, and upsurge in demand for personalized medicines are expected to create new opportunities for the market players during the forecast period. However, adverse effects associated with the use of cancer drugs and high costs related with cancer drug development are the major factors that impede the growth of the market.”  Active biotech and pharma companies in the markets this week include Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBRX), OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK), Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR), AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAG).


The Statista report added: “Cancer drugs are extremely pricey and therefore generate high revenues, with costs of a cancer treatment at above US$100,000 per patient. Cancer rates themselves are also rising with humans increasing their lifespans. Money funneled into cancer research means new medications coming out, which improves cancer treatment but might also increase its price as pharmaceutical companies charge a premium for the newly researched and released drugs.”


Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBRX) BREAKING NEWS:  Moleculin Biotech, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of drug candidates targeting highly resistant tumors, today announced its proof of concept clinical trial to evaluate its p-STAT3 inhibitor, WP1220, for the topical treatment of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) has reached full enrollment.


“We believe there continues to be an unmet need for an improved topical therapy for Stage I-III CTCL skin lesions,” commented Walter Klemp, Moleculin’s Chairman and CEO, “especially one that may avoid significant unwanted side effects.  CTCL is known to frequently involve the upregulation of the activated form of STAT3 (p-STAT3), which has been linked to a range of tumor-related transcriptional activity.  This proof of concept, if successful, could be an important first demonstration of a therapeutic effect in humans from such a p-STAT3 inhibitor.  We are pleased with how quickly this trial reached full recruitment and we are hopeful to be able to announce results from this trial yet this year. This trial represents one of four clinical trials that we have underway.”


Mr. Klemp concluded: “notwithstanding the relatively rare nature of CTCL, we believe showing activity with one of our STAT3 inhibitors, within our WP1066 family of molecules, could be an indicator of both the value of p-STAT3 as a target and the potential for our drugs in other cancers where STAT3 is highly activated.”  Read this and more news for MBRX at


Other recent developments in the biotech industry include:


OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) recently announced that its subsidiary, BioReference Laboratories, one of the largest clinical laboratories in the United States, has been selected by SOMOS, a physician-led network of more than 2,500 health care providers serving over 700,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in New York City, as its preferred provider of diagnostic testing and to assist with data analytics for its patients. This new collaboration is designed to streamline patient care and offer communication efficiencies between BioReference and the SOMOS network. SOMOS is New York City’s largest multi-cultural physician-led network that serves predominately underserved patient populations.


Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK) a global biopharmaceutical company, recently confirmed enrollment of the first patient in the company’s Phase 2a study assessing the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safety of the oral investigational drug MNK-6106 (L-ornithine phenylacetate) versus rifaximin in patients with hepatic (liver) cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Study completion is expected by first quarter 2020.


Mallinckrodt acquired MNK-6106 and the intravenous investigational drug MNK-6105 (L-ornithine phenylacetate) when it completed the acquisition of Ocera Therapeutics in December 2017. MNK-6106 is being evaluated for post-discharge continuity of care for patients with cirrhosis and, if approved, may have the potential to reduce the risk of recurrent HE episodes and possibly rehospitalization.


The company expects to begin recruiting by the end of 2019 for a Phase 3 clinical trial investigating MNK-6105 in patients being treated for acute HE in the hospital.


Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) recently reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019.  Cash and investments in marketable securities at June 30, 2019were $1.8 billion as compared to $1.9 billion at December 31, 2018.


“Nektar is making good progress advancing our multiple programs in immuno-oncology, immunology and pain,” said Howard W. Robin, President and CEO of Nektar. “With our partner Bristol-Myers Squibb, although we’ve experienced some delays, we are working to finalize the development program for bempegaldesleukin in combination with nivolumab in a number of tumor types and which are designed to support registration for this unique I-O doublet. We have a number of registrational trials already started and we recently received a breakthrough designation from FDA for bempeg and nivo in the setting of first-line untreated metastatic melanoma. Our partner Eli Lilly will be initiating several new studies later this year for NKTR-358, our T regulatory stimulator candidate. These studies will expand the program with additional indications beyond lupus.  We recently filed an IND with the FDA for NKTR-255, our IL-15 agonist, and will initiate our first-in-human clinical study this quarter in patients with relapsed, refractory NHL and in patients with multiple myeloma.”


AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAG) recently reported unaudited consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 and provided a business update.  “We are pleased to report both year-over-year and sequential revenue and market share growth in the quarter for each of our key commercial products – Makena subcutaneous (SC) auto-injector, Feraheme and Intrarosa. This strong, consistent execution by our commercial team positions us well for next month’s launch of Vyleesi, our fourth commercial product,” said William Heiden, AMAG’s president and chief executive officer. “Despite the strong commercial success of our promoted products, we have lowered our 2019 financial guidance to reflect the impact of Makena intramuscular (IM) supply issues and our changed expectations of milestone payments due to us from a development partner related to ciraparantag.”


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