Gallbladder cancer therapeutics pipeline is expected to witness increased growth in the future since very less number of drugs are available in the pipeline for the treatment of gallbladder cancer. There is an increase in awareness towards cancer treatments, increasing demand for safe and effective medicines, rising healthcare expenditure and technological advancements are supporting the growth of the gallbladder therapeutics pipeline.
According to National Cancer Institute, a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, gallbladder cancer is a rare disease in which malignant cells are found in the tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that lies just under the liver in the upper abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile, a fluid made by the liver to digest fat. When food is being broken down in the stomach and intestines, bile is released from the gallbladder through a tube called the common bile duct, which connects the gallbladder and liver to the first part of the small intestine. Women and native American are at higher risk for the gallbladder cancer due to estrogen replacement therapy and oral contraceptive use. The detection of the gallbladder cancer is complex until it has reaches its advanced stage and shows symptoms. Only about 1 of 5 gallbladder cancers is found in the early stages, when the cancer has not yet spread beyond the gallbladder.
The pipeline of gallbladder cancer therapeutics pipeline includes anti-PD-1 antibody BGB-A317. BeiGene, Ltd. is developing BGB-A317, a Phase I drug candidate that shows well-tolerated anti-tumor activity in gallbladder cancer and in other solid tumors. GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to introduce a combination therapy of Gemcitabine-Pazopanib, which is currently in Phase II. Bayer AG plans to introduce a drug, copanlisib for treatment of gallbladder cancer, which is currently in Phase II clinical development. Eli Lilly and Company plans to introduce a drug LY2801653, which is also known as Merestinib. Merestinib is currently in Phase I clinical development against gallbladder cancer. Regorafenib which is in Phase II clinical development is also a pipeline drug from Bayer AG.
As conventional methods of treatment of gallbladder cancer, certain chemotherapy medications, such as Capecitabine, Cisplatin, Fluorouracil and Gemcitabine have been well established. Immunotherapy, combination therapy, monoclonal antibodies and steroids are also offering effective results for the treatment of gallbladder cancer. Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease so, increasing awareness regarding the treatment has been driving the pipeline growth. However, high cost of treatment and the side effects associated with the various treatment options act as key barriers that are hindering the growth of the pipeline.
According to the American Cancer Society, around 11,740 new cases for gall bladder cancer are estimated to be diagnosed, with 5,320 cases in men and 6,420 in women and around 3,830 deaths are expected to occur from the disease, 1,630 deaths in men and 2,200 deaths in women in the year 2017.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of gallbladder cancer therapeutics include 4SC AG, BeiGene Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, Novartis AG and VasGene Therapeutics Inc.