Neoantigen Targeted Therapies – A Potential Weapon in the Fight against Cancer
Cancer – one of the most feared and dreaded diseases. It is known to be one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 0.6 million deaths in 2018, in the US alone. The World Health Organization has estimated the number of new cancer cases, reported across the globe, to rise by 70% over the next 20 years. Years of research has yielded several potential treatment options, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapies. However, these methods continue to demonstrate limited efficacy in late-stage cancers. Moreover, the non-specific and highly toxic nature of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, have severe detrimental effects on patients’ quality of life.
Recent developments in genomic analysis and advances in bioinformatics have enabled the adoption of more personalized treatment approaches, such as neoantigen targeted therapies. Cancer neoantigens is a term used to refer to a subset of antigens encoded by tumor-specific, mutated genes, which have not previously been recognized by host’s immune system. These are considered to be potential biological targets that can be used to augment the therapeutic value of a number of cancer immunotherapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors and cancer vaccines, having demonstrated the capability to elicit strong T-cell mediated immune response. Currently, several neoantigen-based therapies are being investigated in combination with various immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as atezolizumab, durvalumab, ipilimumab and nivolumab. In fact, multiple such initiatives by start-ups are backed by venture capital firms and other strategic investors.
Clinical and Preclinical Pipeline of Neoantigen Targeted Therapies
Presently, over 150 neoantigen targeted therapies are being evaluated for advanced cancer indications and are designed for delivery via different routes of administration.
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High Number of Patents are Suggestive of the Widespread Research in this Domain
Industry and non-industry players, alike, are carrying out extensive research on neoantigen targeted therapies across a wide spectrum of indications. The field has seen a significant rise in the number of patents over the past decade, with the United States of America leading the way in terms of the total number of patents filed / granted.
Patent Analysis highlights the rise in the interest of industry / non-industry stakeholders in this emerging domain
Click here to know about the most cited patents related to neoantigen targeted therapies.
Investors are Betting their Money on this Novel Approach
Realizing the untapped opportunity in this emerging segment, several investors have invested in the initiatives of various therapy developers over the past 5 years. In fact, this upcoming segment of anti-cancer therapy has received a funding of more than USD 7 billion between 2014 and 2019.
Funding and investment activity
The increase in funding activity in recent years is proof of the fact that neoantigen targeted therapies are the future of cancer immunotherapy. To get an elaborate list of funding instances in this segment, please click here.
Despite all the developments made in the field of medical science in the 21st century, there still exists a lacuna when it comes to promising anti-cancer therapies. Existing therapeutic modalities have failed to curb the menace of ever-increasing cancer population worldwide. In such grime circumstances, neoantigen targeted therapies bring a new ray of hope to treat cancer without any severe adverse events.
For further information on this emerging domain, check out the report here.