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Immunotherapy Combinations Approach: A Turning Point in the Oncology Sector

In 2017, global pharmaceutical companies expanded the clinical studies of combination treatments through a wave of strategic alliances with biotechnology companies with a goal to raise the response rates of anti-PD1 and anti-PD-L1 immuno-oncology agents. The synergistic mechanism of action demonstrated by checkpoint inhibitors is driving interest in immunotherapy combinations. Currently, combination strategies remain an active area of clinical research by leading biopharmaceutical companies worldwide. Bristol Myer Squibb’s  Opdivo has emerged as the leader in the space, followed by Merck’s Keytruda, Roche’s Tecentriq, AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi and Pfizer’s Bavencio. We view a promising future for the space through the foreseeable future and have significantly raised the commercial estimates of these drugs and the sector through 2022.


In immuno-oncology, three kinds of treatments are currently being investigated and they include (1) immune checkpoint inhibitors (2) CAR-T cells and (3) bispecific antibodies.


Global pharmaceutical companies are looking to maximize the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors by combining existing anti-PD1 and anti-PD-L1 treatments with new mechanism-based drugs such as LAG-3 & IDO-1 inhibitors. There are over 1,000 clinical trials ongoing facing the immunotherapeutics which predominantly investigate the novel agents in combination with PD-1/PD-L1 therapies.


Incyte/ Merck’s Phase III ECHO-301 study of epacadostat (IDO inhibitor) + pembro vs. pembro monotherapy in melanoma with data anticipated by June 2018 is seen as a major milestone for the entire field. Incyte is not only developing IDO-1 inhibitors, but also TIM-3/LA3-3 inhibitors, and the company is conducting clinical trials for combination treatments with Keytruda, Opdivo, and Imfinzi.


For a though provoking view of this field and the market outlook through 2022, Please contact Polaris Market Research.


Focus Areas:

Disease deep dive, in-depth epidemiology and treatment guidelines by key indications

Revenue analyses by drug class (Anti-CTLA-4, Anti-PD-1/PD-L1 and the leading brands

Current and forecast market opportunity

Leading Players Analyses, Company Strategy and Outlook

Detailed analyses of emerging checkpoint targets and the projected peak sales contribution