Cancer – a growing public health problem
Cancer is the second most common cause of death after cardiovascular disease today. In 2020, approximately 19 million cases were noted, which is expected to rise to 30 million in 2040. The increase is mainly caused by an aging population and an increased incidence of cancer risk factors driven by the social and economic development. Today, every fourth man and every fifth woman are likely to suffer from the disease. Meanwhile every eighth man, and every eleventh woman are likely to die from cancer. In total, this means that almost 44 million people were living with cancer in 2018. Cancer causes not only human suffering but also huge economic consequences for societies. Among the 15 most common causes of death in the world, cancer leads to the highest economic consequences of all causes of death. The socio-economic costs consist of both loss of income for patients and their relatives and treatment costs. It is mainly the large losses of life years that affect the socio-economic costs, and these costs are constantly increasing. For example, the estimated cost of health care in the United States for cancer has increased from USD 124 billion in 2010 to USD 157 billion by 2020. In total, the socio-economic cost of cancer in the United States represents 1.5-2.0 percent of the US GDP.
In 2021, the global market for cancer drugs was valued at USD 187 billion globally, and is estimated to grow to USD 273 billion by 2025. During this period, about 100 new cancer drugs are expected to be introduced, where individualized treatments, targeted drugs and biomarker-driven treatments are expected to be a significant part of the new the treatments approved.
The drug-delivery market
LIDDS operates in the drug delivery market, developing NanoZolid-formulated drugs that gives a local and controlled maintained release of pharmaceuticals. Given the need for more precise, effective, and safer treatments, the use of drug delivery technologies is expected to increase in the future. The technologies are used for several different treatment areas where oncology accounts for about 30 percent, neurological diseases about 25 percent, infectious diseases 17 percent and other treatment areas for the remaining 30 percent.
The size of the total global drug delivery market was equivalent to USD 1,650 billion in 2021. Over the next five years, annual growth of 5.9 percent is expected, resulting in a market size of USD 2,200 billion in 2026. Market growth is partly due to an increased incidence of chronic diseases, such as cancer, respiratory allergies and diabetes, patients demanding new innovative methods of accessing medicines, technological development, and the launch of new products.
The drug delivery market consists of a variety of technologies including nanoporous silicon particles, silicon matrices, liposomes, protein conjugates, and hydrogels. LIDDS NanoZolid technology is a hydrogel-based technology and in total the market size for hydrogel-based drug delivery technologies is estimated to be close to USD 6 billion today and is expected to grow to USD 11 billion in 2028, corresponding to an annual growth rate of approximately 7.5 percent.
The prostate cancer market
The total global market for prostate cancer drugs was valued at USD 6.9 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to USD 9.9 billion in 2026, corresponding to an annual growth rate of 4.6 percent during the period. Market growth is mainly driven by the increasing incidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia, increased obesity, increasing incidence of prostate cancer, increased demand for hormone drugs, new treatments for prostate cancer, and the increasing incidence of prostatitis which is a bacterial infection of the prostate. Ongoing Phase III studies in prostate cancer include both drug candidates approved for other indications and drugs with new mechanisms of action, such as radioactive markers targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen, kinase inhibitors and checkpoint inhibitors.
Of the 1.4 million men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in total, approximately 420,000 have a localized prostate cancer with a low or medium risk of cancer progression. Patients with small, non-aggressive cancers are only followed up on a regular basis, so-called “active surveillance”. If the cancer develops and becomes more aggressive, the patient is offered radical treatment that is either surgery or radiation. Elderly men with a small tumor without metastasis are kept under observation and offered symptomatic treatment.