What Attributes Will Distinguish Emerging Therapies in the Eyes of Hematological Oncologists and Payers?
The introduction of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (Millennium/Takeda/Janssen’s Velcade) and the immunomodulatory agents thalidomide (Celgene’s Thalidomide/Thalomid, Fujimoto Seiyaku’s Thaled) and lenalidomide (Celgene’s Revlimid) has revolutionized the treatment of multiple myeloma over the last decade; however, patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) disease remain particularly difficult to treat. The FDA awarded carfilzomib (Onyx Pharmaceuticals/Ono Pharmaceutical’s Kyprolis) and pomalidomide (Celgene’s Pomalyst/Imnovid) accelerated approval in July 2012 and February 2013, respectively; both agents are expanding existing treatment options and have the potential to further improve treatment outcomes when combined with lenalidomide or bortezomib. Several other therapies, including agents from novel drug classes, are also in development for R/R myeloma. Owing to the high level of unmet need in this setting, significant clinical and commercial opportunity remains for therapies that can provide greater survival benefits compared with current standards of care.