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Anticancer Drugs Targeting the ErbB (EGFr/HEr2) Pathway Alone Generated Global Sales of Nearly $5 Billion in the First Nine Months of 2007
Date:11/27/2007

Currently, Over 370 Agents are in Active Clinical Development, Addressing

Over 190 Targets

LAKE FOREST, Calif., Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Six ErbB (EGFr/HEr2)-pathway inhibitors, marketed for the treatment of several major solid tumor indications, generated global sales of $4,964.4 million in the first 9 months of 2007, almost surpassing the $5,160 million total revenues of these agents in 2006.

Despite this unprecedented market success and the acceptance of targeted therapies in oncology practice, many challenges remain unfulfilled. One key problem of currently approved agents is the relatively marginal benefits they provide; median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) are extended only by a few months. However, aggressive efforts to overcome current limitations are providing unique opportunities in this field.

Currently, all targeted therapeutics, both approved and novel are under evaluation almost exclusively in combination with approved cytotoxic agents. Because cytotoxics remain the treatment mainstay for adjuvant, neoadjuvant and advanced/metastatic disease, opportunities still exist for the development of more effective, less toxic alternatives.

Targeted therapeutics are also under investigation in combination with each other, in efforts to simultaneously inhibit additional or compensating pathways, or to maximize effectiveness against a single target by combining drugs acting by different mechanisms, e.g., receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies (MAb), against the same target. Also, multitargeted inhibitors are in development against different targets in the same or different pathways hypothesized to act in concert in malignancy.

The commercial success of the ErbB inhibitors and other targeted anticancer agents has stimulated R&D in this field. More than 370 drugs have entered clinical trials, with many having already reached phase II (n=183)
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SOURCE New Medicine's Oncology KnowledgeBASE
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