In 2016 there were 39,230 new cases and 27,170 deaths from liver cancer in the US.
It is the sixth most common cancer in the world, and its poor prognosis makes it the second leading cause of cancer death.
Despite these disturbing figures, Bayer’s Nexavar is currently the only targeted drug therapy available in developed markets for the most common form of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Nexavar dominates the HCC market – competing only with chemotherapies that have been shown to be ineffective in advanced liver cancer. This situation presents a huge opportunity for drug manufacturers.
Within the liver cancer market, the major unmet need is simply for more therapies for advanced-stage patients.
Resistance to Nexavar is also an issue, and having more therapeutic options would also address this concern. There is also a need for greater accuracy in diagnosis, and to identify patients much earlier.
Companies who can take advantage of these opportunities will be able to help a large patient population, and stand to reap high rewards thanks to the limited competition in this treatment space.