The cases of Melanoma have been on a hike for the past thirty years making it the fifth most common cancer among people. By the end of the year 2019, an estimated number of 57,220 men and 39,260 women in the United States would have been diagnosed with invasive melanoma, as per Cancer.net.
Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer which initiates its journey in melanocytes. It can develop anywhere in the body including head, neck, underneath of fingernails, or even the soles of feet and palms of the hands.
As per a study by Skin Cancer Foundation, only 20-30% of the melanomas arise from moles, and the remaining 70-80% arise from normal-looking skin.
The Melanoma diagnosis at the early stage is important as it has higher chances to be rectified through surgery. Cancer, if not diagnosed early, has most chances to takes malignant form. It can spread deeply into the skin, into the lymph nodes and blood vessels and ultimately leading to death.
According to Cancer.net, an estimated number of 7,230 deaths from melanoma will occur by the end of this year.
Refractory Metastatic Melanoma Therapeutics landscape
The Refractory Metastatic Melanoma treatment aims to prolong survival, eliminate cancer, shrink or halt the growth of known metastases. Moreover, the Refractory Metastatic Melanoma therapies provide comfort and stop the growth of the tumour at-risk areas.
The Refractory Metastatic Melanoma treatment landscape comprises of immunotherapy, targeted therapy, intralesional therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, surgery is also considered as an option for certain cases.
Immunotherapy helps boost the body’s natural defences to fight cancer. Recent years have seen major advances in stage IV of the Refractory Metastatic Melanoma treatment with immunotherapy. Three immunotherapy-based drugs such as Nivolumab, a product of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pembrolizumab by Merck & Co, and Ipilimumab, again a candidate of Bristol-Myers Squibb hold the approved Refractory Metastatic Melanoma drug tags.
Refractory Metastatic Melanoma Approved Therapies
Nivolumab (Opdivo) and Pembrolizumab are now considered as the first treatment option for Refractory Metastatic Melanoma patient pool. Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab, both the Anti-PD-1 antibodies, are efficiently shrink melanoma in around 25-45% of the patients.
Targeted Refractory Metastatic Melanoma therapy is a treatment that targets cancer-promoting specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment. Undoubtedly, targeted Melanoma therapy improves patient survival as it blocks the growth and proliferation of cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells. Three Refractory Metastatic Melanoma targeted therapies that have received the FDA approval so far are Dabrafenib (Novartis), Vemurafenib (Roche), and Trametinib (Novartis).
Dabrafenib and Vemurafenib occupy major chunk of the Refractory Metastatic Melanoma therapy market because of their property to inhibit BRAF. Around 40– 50% of patients have tumours that harbour BRAF V600 mutations, which leads to a rapid progression of the melanoma. In the case of the BRAF mutations, Dabrafenib and Vemurafenib become major relief providing Refractory Metastatic Melanoma drugs.
On the other hand, Trametinib is a MEK-inhibitor.
Larotrectinib (Loxo Oncology Inc/Bayer) is a type of targeted therapy, which is not specific to a certain type of cancer but focuses on a specific genetic change called an NTRK fusion. This type of genetic change is found in a range of cancers, including melanoma.
Companies fuelling the Refractory Metastatic Melanoma Market
Certain key pharma and biotech companies that are working to develop new Refractory Metastatic Melanoma therapies are Idera Pharmaceuticals and Iovance Biotherapeutics. The therapies are in different phases of development.
Refractory Metastatic Melanoma Pipeline products
Idera Pharmaceuticals is developing IMO-2125, a toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 agonist. Designated as Orphan Drug and Fast-track by the US FDA, the drug is under Phase- III clinical trials.
Furthermore, Iovance Biotherapeutics is running Phase III trials for LN-144 which is a tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) therapy for Refractory Metastatic Melanoma treatment.
Derived from a patient’s own immune cells called T lymphocytes, the drug has already received a Fast Track designation from the US FDA for Stage IIIc or IV Refractory Metastatic Melanoma treatment. Iovance aims to depict the safety and efficacy of its candidate through the trials.
The results of the trials of the drugs for Refractory Metastatic Melanoma and the launch of the respective pipeline products points towards positive growth of the Refractory Metastatic Melanoma market in the 7MM in the coming years, forecast DelveInsight’s analysts.