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Frontier Pharma: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - Identifying and Commercializing First-in-Class Innovation

Published: Oct-2014 | Format: PDF | GBI Research | Number of pages: 93 | Code: MRS - 1746

Large Degree of Innovation in NSCLC Pipeline

The NSCLC pipeline currently has 389 products in active development across all stages, but a stark contrast between the mechanisms of action employed in the current market and the pipeline is evident. Where the market comprises primarily ineffective chemotherapies that target tubulin or DNA replication, the pipeline shows an incredibly diverse range of therapies targeting multiple signaling pathways and molecules integral to cancer development. This diversity is partially due to the presence of 122 first-in-class products, which accounts for 38% of the overall pipeline therapies that disclosed their target. In an industry, market and development landscape that favors first-in-class over non-first-in-class development in many ways, such as through faster approval or greater revenue, this finding has strategic implications for a wide array of market participants, both large and small. Despite a high attrition rate in NSCLC, first-in-class therapies that reach the market have the potential to transform and improve the NSCLC treatment landscape.

Alignment of First-in-Class Molecular Target with Disease Causation

The method of characterizing NSCLC tumors is currently shifting from the traditional histology-based characterization to a more specific molecule-based method of characterization. This has resulted in the identification of key oncogenic mutations in NSCLC and has coincided with the rise of targeted pipeline therapies, which are designed to target proteins in signaling pathways that are frequently mutated, amplified or overexpressed in NSCLC. Aligning the molecular target with disease-causing signaling pathways and frequently mutated pathways therapies can benefit from reduced systemic cytotoxic effects while still inhibiting tumor-promoting signaling. Therefore, targeted therapies often display superior safety and efficacy to chemotherapies.

GBI Research’s proprietary analysis showed substantial variation in how well NSCLC first-in-class targets align to frequent gene mutations. Further in-depth analysis identified the most promising first-in-class targets based on various scientific and clinical parameters. Examining scientific and clinical data of promising first-in-class targets showed that first-in-class status is not, in its own right, enough for a successful product; however, the first-in-class products substantiated by scientific and clinical evidence will be exciting future prospects with the potential to transform the NSCLC market.

First-in-Class Products in Licensing and Co-development Deals

The NSCLC deals landscape appears relatively quiet for such a large indication. However, analysis showed that of the therapies with disclosed deal values there is significant range in the value of NSCLC deals. Concerning first-in-class specifically, only five licensing or co-development deals have been made since 2006. Despite the low sample size, it is clear that the first-in-class NSCLC products offer an attractive investment prospect as they command much higher deal values and, on average, deals occur earlier in development compared to non-first-in-class counterparts. Both trends were substantiated by industry-wide data that showed that, particularly in Phase I, first-in-class products would attract larger mean and median total deal values. The data highlight that the first-in-class deals landscape is different and indicates a greater chance of becoming much more lucrative than the deals landscape for addition-to-class or advance-in-class therapies.

A total of 117 first-in-class products that are currently in development have not yet been entered into a licensing or co-development deal. In a transforming market that will favor innovative, targeted therapies with a strong clinical record, there are numerous opportunities for strategic alliances to bolster a first-in-class portfolio or fund clinical development. Although not all are aligned to disease-causing signaling pathways, many are supported by robust scientific and clinical data, making them attractive prospects as both therapeutics and investment opportunities.


  • The report analyzes innovation in NSCLC in the context of the overall pipeline and current market landscape. It also analyzes the deals landscape surrounding first-in-class products and pinpoints in-licensing opportunities.The report includes 
  • A brief introduction to NSCLC, including symptoms, pathophysiology, and an overview of pharmacotherapy and treatment algorithms
  • Extensive categorization of histological and molecular features of NSCLC tumors
  • Coverage of the changing molecular target landscape and particular points of innovation in the pipeline
  • A comprehensive review of the pipeline for first-in-class therapies, analyzed by stage of development, molecule type and molecular target
  • Identification and assessment of first-in-class molecular targets with a particular focus on early-stage programs of which clinical utility has yet to be evaluated, as well as literature reviews of novel molecular targets
  • Industry-wide analysis of first-in-class deals compared to non-first-in-class deals
  • An assessment of the licensing and co-development deal landscape for NSCLC therapies and benchmarking of deals comparing first-in-class and non-first-in-class-products

Reasons to buy

  • The report will enable business development and enable marketing executives to strategize their product launches by allowing them to 
  • Understand the focal shifts in molecular targets in the NSCLC pipeline
  • Understand the distribution of pipeline programs by phase of development, molecule type and molecular target
  • Access a scientific and clinical analysis of first-in-class developmental programs for NSCLC, benchmarked against non-first-in-class targets
  • Assess the valuations of licensed and co-developed NSCLC treatments
  • Access a list of the first-in-class therapies potentially open to deal-making opportunities"

Table of Contents

1 Table of Contents

1 Table of Contents 2
1.1 List of Tables 2
1.2 List of Figures 2

2 Executive Summary 4
2.1 A High Degree of First-In-Class Innovation in an Active Pipeline 4
2.2 Increasing Molecular Characterization of Tumors with Concomitant First-in-Class Innovation Alignment 4
2.3 Stagnant Deals Landscape Higlights Numerous Investment Opportunities 4

3 The Case for Innovation 5
3.1 Growing Opportunities for Biologic Products 6
3.2 Diversification of Molecular Targets 6
3.3 Innovative First-in-class Product Developments Remain Attractive 6
3.4 Regulatory and Reimbursement Policy Shifts Favor First-in-Class Product Innovation 6
3.5 Sustained Innovation 7
3.6 GBI Research Report Guidance 8

4 Clinical and Commercial Landscape 9
4.1 Disease Symptoms 9
4.2 Disease Etiology and Pathophysiology 10
4.2.1 Adenocarcinoma 10
4.2.2 Squamous Cell Carcinoma 12
4.2.3 Large Cell Carcinoma 14
4.2.4 Diagnosis 15
4.2.5 Prognosis 15
4.3 Introduction to NSCLC Treatment 15
4.4 Surgery and Radiation Therapy 16
4.5 Treatment Algorithm 16
4.5.1 First-Line Treatment 18
4.5.2 Maintenance Therapy 23
4.5.3 Second-Line Therapy 25
4.5.4 Third-Line Therapy 27
4.5.5 Adjuvant Therapy 27
4.6 Overview of Marketed Products for NSCLC 28
4.6.1 Molecular Type Analysis 28
4.6.2 Molecular Target Analysis 29
4.6.3 Innovative Products in the NSCLC Market 29
4.6.4 Efficacy and Safety of Marketed Products 30
4.6.5 Current Unmet Needs 31

5 Assessment of Pipeline Product Innovation 32
5.1 NSCLC Pipeline by Molecule Type, Phase and Therapeutic Target 32
5.2 Comparative Distribution of Programs between the NSCLC Market and Pipeline by Therapeutic Target Family 37
5.3 First-in-class Pipeline Programs Targeting Novel Molecule Targets 38

6 Signaling Network, Disease Causation and Innovation Alignment 42
6.1 The Complexity of Signaling Networks in Oncology 42
6.2 Signaling Pathways, Disease-Causing Mutations and First-In-Class Molecular Target Integration 43
6.3 First-in-Class Target Matrix Assessment 47

7 First-in-Class Target Evaluation 50
7.1 Pipeline Programs Targeting PTK2 50
7.2 Pipeline Programs Targeting Erbb3 51
7.3 Pipeline Programs Targeting TP53 52
7.4 Pipeline Programs Targeting CD274 54
7.5 Pipeline Programs Targeting Akt2 56
7.6 Pipeline Programs Targeting STAT3 58
7.7 Pipeline Programs Targeting FGF1 59
7.8 Pipeline Programs Targeting CDK4 60
7.9 Pipeline Programs Targeting AURKB 62
7.10 Pipeline Programs Targeting FNTA 63
7.11 Pipeline Programs Targeting CHEK1 65
7.12 Pipeline Programs Targeting HIF1A 67
7.13 Pipeline Programs Targeting DKK1 69
7.14 Conclusion 70

8 Deals and Strategic Consolidations 72
8.1 Industry-wide First-in-Class Deals 72
8.2 NSCLC Deals Landscape 74
8.3 Licensing Deals 74
8.4 Co-development Deals 81
8.5 First-in-Class Programs Not Involved in Licensing or Co-Development Deals 84

9 Appendix 87
9.1 References 87
9.2 Abbreviations 92
9.3 References for Heat Map 93
9.4 Contact Us 93
9.5 Disclaimer 93

Table 1: Tumor Node Metastasis Classification 15
Table 2: Stage I-IV Treatment Options - All Histologies 16
Table 3: Stage IIIB–IV Treatment Options – All Histologies 18
Table 4: Chemotherapy Treatment in Late-stage NSCLC Patients with Varied Histologies 19
Table 5: Chemotherapy Treatment in Stage IIIB/IV NSCLC Patients by Regimen 19
Table 6: References for Heat Map 93

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