There is an urgent unmet need for developing innovative and effective cancer therapeutics for the treatment of patients with late-stage and refractory cancer. Amidst the widespread initiatives to develop more targeted anti-cancer therapies, immune checkpoint inhibitors emerged as a highly specific and potent option to eradicate tumor cells with minimal side effects.
Once the body recognizes an entity as foreign, it is capable of mounting an immune response against it that ultimately results in the selective elimination of the foreign entity. Moreover, the immune system retains a memory of the event and has the capability to keep it from relapsing. Immuno-oncology involves the study of the above phenomenon in order to develop novel treatment options that leverage innate potential of the immune system to treat disease in a specific manner and prevent it from recurring. Immunotherapies have been shown to stimulate the immune system by three different mechanisms, blocking immune inhibitory signals, activating immunostimulatory pathways and stimulating components of the innate and adaptive immune systems to elicit a disease-specific immune response.
The Potential of Immuno-modulators:
The success of first-generation immune checkpoint inhibitors has opened a new arena for researchers and pharmaceutical companies in this domain. Several alternative stimulatory and inhibitory pathways, other than those targeting CTLA-4, PD-L and PD-L1, are being investigated across various stages of preclinical and clinical development. Therapies targeting these alternative checkpoint proteins, such as TIM-3, LAG-3, GITR, OX40, CD47 and CD38, have been termed as next generation immune checkpoint modulators. Next generation immune modulators are the beneficiaries of this change and are certain to pave the way for effective treatment of several forms of cancer. A number of preclinical and clinical studies have established the potential of immune checkpoint modulators, both as monotherapies and combination therapies. Further, other intriguing combinations are emerging with immunotherapies and other established therapeutic modalities, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. With both, big and small players, investing large amount of resources to investigate the anticancer potential of immune checkpoint modulators, these therapeutic modalities are expected to become mainstream in the foreseen future.
The Evolving Landscape of Next Generation Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and Stimulators
Over the years, significant strides have been made in immune checkpoint modulation research, revealing several inhibitory (LAG-3, TIM-3, TIGIT, VISTA and B7-H3) and stimulatory receptors (OX40, ICOS, GITR, 4-1BB and CD40), which are now being exploited for development of next generation immune checkpoint-based therapies. Moreover, clinical studies of combinatorial immune checkpoint blockade / co-stimulation, involving the newly identified checkpoints and known immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies, have demonstrated the potential to further augment therapeutic benefits. It is worth highlighting that these molecules have also shown to be capable of regulating immune tolerance and preventing / treating autoimmune disorders. Therefore, backed by promising clinical results and expanding applicability of therapies being investigated in late stages of development, the immune checkpoint inhibitors and stimulators market is poised to witness substantial growth in the foreseen future.
Next generation immune checkpoint therapy developers have invested extensively in conducting clinical studies to evaluate the therapeutic potential of these therapies and translate into commercial success stories.
The number and the geographical distribution of clinical trials are two important indicators that determine the therapeutic viability and the future potential of innovative pharmacological interventions. Moreover, the geographical distribution directly indicates the various markets that are actually open to receiving / adopting the novel intervention(s) under investigation. Further, as more product candidates are approved by regulatory authorities across the globe, the number of clinical trials across different regions is anticipated to increase. To get a detailed information on the key players, recent developments, and the likely market evolution, visit this link