Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain tumour. It has a highly innovative therapy pipeline with 120 first-in-class programmes, according to a new report from GBI Research.

Titled “Frontier Pharma: Glioblastoma Multiforme – Cancer Immunotherapies Dominate First-in-Class Product Innovation”, the report estimates the current development pipeline to include 512 products in various stages. Of the 120 programmes, 86 are first-in-class molecular targets.

Innovation in the therapy class is being driven by factors such as unmet need, an expanding patient pool, and a lack of approved drugs in the market. Current treatment mechanisms inhibit growth factor signalling, but many such pathways and cellular processes remain untargeted.

"Despite the high risk involved in development, investment in the therapy class has not weakened and remains attractive due to the high return on investment."

A better understanding of disease pathophysiology is also fostering innovation. There is increasing evidence of the effectiveness of alternate treatment mechanisms, such as cancer stem cell growth and extracellular matrix remodelling.

Many of the first-in-class products under development are supported by strong pre-clinical data and are expected to reach the market within the next ten years, says GBI Research associate analyst Adam Bradbury.

Despite the high-risk involved in development, investment in the therapy class remains attractive due to the high-return on investment.

Development activity in the glioblastoma market is moderate, with the mean value for co-development deals remaining below the industry average at $196.2m. However, the mean value of licensing deals is above the industry average at $168m, the report adds.