Report: Immune Checkpoint Proteins Are the Focus of Cancer Immunotherapy Development

Alison Rodriguez

Advancements in the cancer immunotherapy pipeline are leading to the production of immune checkpoint inhibitors, and a recent report from Global Business Intelligence (GBI) Research titled “Cancer Immunotherapies—First-in-Class Pipeline Dominated by Immunomodulators and PD-1 Like Targets” took a look at the pipeline.
 
The report discussed the 3100 products that are currently in the cancer immunotherapy pipeline, which make up one-third of all oncology products in development. More than 75% of immunotherapy drugs are categorized as immune checkpoint proteins, which are intended to directly modify the immune system. Immunotherapies have become more prevalent as their efficacy has been exemplified as an important therapeutic option for many types of cancer.
 
''As knowledge of the anti-cancer immune response increases, advances in the development of immunotherapies has followed. Both commercial and therapeutic success of immune checkpoint inhibitors Opdivo and Keytruda has driven an influx of pipeline programs focusing on targeting immune system function rather than cancer cells directly,” Emily Leckenby, Analyst for GBI Research, said in a statement. “Targeting of the immune system has potential for use across oncology indications, attributing to its commercial success as a therapy strategy.''
 
The increased development of such therapies and the increased investment in novel therapeutics will produce a significant distinction of immunotherapies from other market competitors.
 
''Many of these previously unexplored targets display a high probability in replicating the success of previous immune checkpoint inhibitors, despite struggles faced in progressing cancer immunotherapies into late-stage development,'' Leckenby noted.
 
The significant number of active developments in the cancer immunotherapy pipeline demonstrate the interest of these therapies in product development. The report included a study of disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, prognosis, and the treatment options available involving immunotherapies. The report also identified commercial opportunities in the immunotherapy market through an analysis of the trends in licensing and co-development deals.
 
''This high level of investment indicates that immune checkpoint proteins are an extremely valuable therapeutic target commercially, regardless of the risks associated with bringing cancer immunotherapies to market,'' Leckenby concluded.
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