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13 Nov 2013

Hepatocellular Cancer Market to Nearly Treble in Size by 2019

The value of the hepatocellular cancer (HCC) market is set to grow by 172% and hit $1.4 billion by 2019, according to independent analyst firm Datamonitor Healthcare.


HCC is the most common form of liver cancer, accounting for 83% of total liver cancer incidence.


Joseph Hedden, analyst at Datamonitor Healthcare said: “The strong forecasted growth is attributable to the generation of revenue derived from new HCC patient populations, coupled with expected drug approvals.”


The current combined value of HCC drugs in the US, Japan, and five major EU markets* is just $515 million. Bayer/Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ Nexavar is currently the only drug approved by regulatory agencies for treatment of advanced or metastatic HCC patients, but Datamonitor Healthcare expects a number of new drugs to be approved in the next 10 years.


Rather than compete with Nexavar, most of these therapies will be used afterwards, giving patients more treatment options and increasing the value of the HCC market.


However, after this significant growth, the value of the HCC market will contract as generics begin to emerge and erode the sales of branded Nexavar.


Hedden continued: “We anticipate this generic competition will be the primary reason behind a possible 30% shrinkage in HCC market value from 2019–2022.”


Most patients develop HCC from a background of liver cirrhosis, which is commonly caused by hepatitis B or C virus infection, or alcohol abuse.


In 2008, liver cancer was the fifth most common cancer worldwide (794,000 cases) and the third most common cause of cancer death (694,000 morbidities).

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