China has the highest incidence of gastroesophageal cancer globally, and therapeutic options are limited. Only five targeted agents are approved for treatment—trastuzumab (Roche’s Herceptin, generics) as the first-line standard of care for HER2-positive gastric and gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma patients, apatinib (Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine’s AiTan) and nivolumab (BMS’s Opdivo) for third-line gastric and GEJ adenocarcinoma patients, pembrolizumab (Merck’s Keytruda) for second-line esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients, and camrelizumab (Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine’s AiRuiKa) for first- and second-line advanced or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Several novel targeted therapies—including VEGFR inhibitors (Eli Lilly’s Cyramza and Chi-Med’s Elunate), a claudin inhibitor (Ganymed’s zolbetuximab), and several immune checkpoint inhibitors (Innovent Biologics’ Tyvyt, BeiGene’s Baizean, and CStone Pharmaceuticals’ CS1001)—are in preregistration or late-phase trials. The launch and uptake of these agents will lead to significant growth of the gastroesophageal cancer therapy market over the 2021-2031 period. However, the need for additional effective targeted therapies will remain high, representing a lucrative commercial opportunity for developers.
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