The global cancer cachexia market was valued at USD 2,256.35 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 2,974.49 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 4.47% during the forecast period.
The outbreak of COVID-19 impacted the cancer cachexia market, as hospitals and healthcare services were significantly reduced due to social distancing measures enforced globally. The COVID-19 pandemic also affected the global economy and showed a huge impact on the general hospital care functioning for non-COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the world.
According to the research article published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 2020, changes in the nutritional status and weight loss during hospitalization are largely reported in some populations, but it is not completely explored in COVID-19 patients. However, the symptoms and associated conditions of COVID-19 leads to nutritional status deterioration, leading to cachexia.
Also, cancer patients are at a higher risk of being infected with COVID-19, as cancer patients are immunocompromised and their ability to fight against the infection is very low compared to other individuals. Additionally, if a cancer patient develops a COVID-19 infection, there are higher chances of developing multiple organ-related complications or cachexia.
The increasing prevalence of cancer and cancer cachexia cases, along with the increasing investment in the research and development activities for the development of novel therapeutics in the treatment of cancer cachexia, are the major factors driving the market growth.
The global cancer burden is increasing, so cancer therapies must be modified according to regional and national priorities. As per the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC in December 2020, estimated that globally, 1 in 5 people develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1 in 8 men and 1 in 11 women die from the disease. Hence, the increasing burden of cancers worldwide also increases the prevalence of cancer cachexia among cancer patients, which is characterized by systemic inflammation, negative protein and energy balance, and an involuntary loss of lean body mass.
Because of this factor, most of the major players are focused on R&D activities for the development of highly effective novel drugs in the treatment of cancer cachexia. This resulted in an increased pipeline of therapeutics that are waiting for approval and commercial launch post-approval. For instance, ClinicalTrials.gov reported that as of December 2020, there were a total of 134 studies that were conducted or were being conducted to develop drugs that treat cancer cachexia.
However, manufacturers of cancer cachexia drugs are discouraged from investing in the market because of the strict regulatory requirements and the long FDA approval procedure, which may impede the long-term growth of this market.
Key Market Trends Appetite Stimulators is Expected to Grow Significantly in the Global Cancer Cachexia Market
Cancer patients frequently develop loss of appetite and weight loss. Unintended weight loss and anorexia (the loss of appetite or desire to eat) in patients with cancer is associated with decreased performance status, reduced response and tolerance to treatment, decreased survival, and reduced quality of life. Therefore, the increasing use of an appetite stimulant could be considered for patients who exhibit decreased appetite. The increasing prevalence of cancer cachexia cases is one of the major factors propelling the overall market’s growth.
According to the Oncology Nursing Society, appetite stimulants, such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, megestrol acetate, and medroxyprogesterone acetate, have been shown to increase the appetite and weight of patients suffering from cancer cachexia. Megestrol acetate is an appetite stimulant with progestational and antigonadotropic effects. In cancer patients with weight loss, megestrol acetate has been reported to have beneficial effects on appetite and results in a slight increase in weight, but it has not produced improvements in lean body mass or quality of life. Thus, their demand is expected to increase with the increase in the diagnosis of cancers.
Therefore, with the growing burden of cancer across the world, market players are investing steadily in innovative products and their R&D, which boosts the market growth.
For instance, in March 2020, Pfizer Inc., a global pharmaceutical major, launched a global 12-week open-label study which will explore how its drug PF-06946860 is tolerated in patients with cancer cachexia. Hence the factors mentioned above, helps the appetite stimulators segment is anticipated to achieve a high growth rate in the future.
North America is Expected to Dominate the Cancer Cachexia Market
North American is expected to dominate the market due to the high burden of cancer and cancer cachexia along with the presence of a large number of drug manufacturers and the advancing paradigm of care for cancer patients that is supporting the growth in this region. According to the estimates of Globocan 2020, there are around 195,499 new cases of cancer in Mexico. At the same time, approximately 90,222 deaths were recorded due to cancer in 2020 in Mexico.
According to Markus S. Anker, in the article Orphan disease status of cancer cachexia in the USA and the European Union: a systematic review’, published in 2019, in the 14 separately analyzed cancer types, the prevalence of cancer cachexia in the United States ranged between 11,300 (0.4/10 000, gastric cancer) and 92,000 patients (2.9/10000, lung cancer).
Advancements in novel technology for the treatment of cancer cachexia and a strong product pipeline for wasting syndrome have also helped in the growth of the cancer cachexia market in the region. Aveo Oncology, a United States-based biopharmaceutical company has developed AV-380, its first-in-class, potent, and humanized inhibitory antibody targeting GDF15, for the treatment of cancer cachexia, which is on track for IND application submission, with a planned Phase 1 clinical study for the first quarter of 2021.
Competitive Landscape The majority of the cancer cachexia therapy drugs are being manufactured by a few key players. Some of the major players include Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., Alder BioPharmaceuticals Inc., Aeterna Zentaris, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Product launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the cancer cachexia market. Market leaders with more funds for research and a better distribution system have established their position in the market. For instance, A clinical study on the effect of medical Cannabidiol on lean body mass (cachexia) in patients receiving Oxaliplatin- or Paclitaxel-based chemotherapy was initiated by the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with Zealand University Hospital, in December 2020.
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