Researchers at GlaxoSmithKline laid out plans to launch as many as five oncology medicines over the next three years at a conference earlier this week.
The five include:
• Cervarix, for prevention of cervical cancer
• Pazopanib, for renal cell carcinoma
• Promacta, for thrombocytopenia (initially ITP)
• Rezonic, for emesis
• Ofatumumab, for lymphoma and leukemia.
The new products augment the recent launch of Tykerb, an oral treatment for breast cancer. Some 3,000 patients in the U.S. have taken Tykerb since it went on sale in March.
GSK estimates that the market for oncology drugs is around $40 billion a year and is growing at 20 percent annually.
Pazopanib has demonstrated “positive activity” in research in renal cell carcinoma, soft tissue sarcoma and ovarian cancer, GSK said. Phase III trial data for Promacta shows “increased platelet count and significantly lower incidence of bleeding” in patients with ITP.
Rezonic Phase III trial data showed positive results when used with the drug Zofran over use of Zofran alone. GSK described Ofatumumab as being in “late stage development.”
MAGE-A3, a vaccine, will be used in a Phase III clinical trial involving more than 2,200 patients. According to GSK, the trial will be the largest targeting lung cancer.
“Over the next three years, GSK will make a difference to millions of patients facing cancer, with up to five new products expected to be launched in this period,” said Moncef Slaoui, chairman of research and development at GSK.
“We are actively developing late-stage medicines in over twelve different cancer types, from pioneering treatments such as Tykerb to vaccines that can treat as well as prevent cancer,” he added. “Moving deeper into the pipeline we believe that this productivity in oncology can be sustained as we have a significant number of promising new compounds in early-stage discovery. We expect our oncology pipeline to be a key area of success for GSK for many years to come.”
Pazopanib inhibits angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels. The process that plays a critical role in the growth and spread of many tumors.
Promacta is an oral novel compound designed to treat thrombocytopenic (decreased platelet count) patients who are at significant risk of uncontrolled bleeding.
Rezonic is intended to prevent both post-operative nausea and vomiting and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Ofatumumab is an antibody which is currently in late stage development for the treatment of follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the most common form of adult leukemia.