Generics stall growth in prostate cancer market

Annual market growth in the prostate cancer drug market will slip to less than 2% through 2012, according to a new Pharmacor report.

In 2012, growth is expected to increase to 4.5% through 2017, as premium-priced emerging therapy will command nearly half of all sales. According to the report, generic alternatives for two of
AstraZeneca's drugs—Casodex and Zoladex—will account for roughly $274 million in US market losses by 2017.

Casodex is set to drop from $289 million in 2007 to $80 million in 2017, with Zoladex falling from $90 million to $16 million during the same period, according to Marcus Hoyle, an analyst for Decision Resources.

Aside from generic competition, Hoyle said two key unmet needs in the prostate cancer market are to blame. “First, there aren't any major therapy agents available, specifically in the second line of treatment. Doctors we interviewed told us that after docetaxel fails, there isn't much else to offer,” said Hoyle. “Docetaxel can extend overall survival in the metastatic setting for only two or three months.”
New products such as Takeda's GVAX, Dendreon's Provenge and AstraZeneca's zibotentan will be almost exclusively responsible for market growth over the next decade, noted Hoyle. “Chemotherapy has the scope to penetrate further [in the treatment of prostate cancer].  Intermittent hormonal treatment is also becoming more popular,” says Hoyle.
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