More than ever, patented treatments against unmet medical needs, such as cancer, are becoming highly strategic for all biopharmaceutical companies.

Cancer continues to be a major health challenge

Cancer is one of the world’s most serious diseases. In 2013, it had a worldwide death toll of 8.3 million, exceeding that of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

It is the second largest killer after cardiovascular/heart diseases. Lung, prostate, colorectal, cervical and breast cancers remain the most common forms of the disease. There is a rising demand to prevent and to treat cancers.

Global cancer burden is expected almost to double to more than 21 million cases and 13 million deaths by 2030.

Owing to high unmet needs, the oncology market will continue to grow at a moderate pace, driven by a rising aging population, hopping incidence rates, expedited FDA approvals, urbanisation, increased testing, enhanced diagnosis and rising adoption of combination therapies.

Conversely, high prices, limited reimbursement, high patient out-of-pocket costs and lack of screening and awareness in developing regions will all contribute to mitigating market growth.

Cancer continues to grow in the developed world, driven by modern lifestyle patterns.

Over 60% of the world’s new annual cases originate from Africa, Asia and Central and South America, which together account for nearly three-fourths of the world’s cancer deaths.

Among developing economies, India, China and Russia account for ~40% of the world’s population with around twice the cancer mortality rates compared to that currently witnessed in the US and in the UK.

Oncology Market Snapshot

The oncology market is correspondingly huge. It is characterised by:
  • Domination by large pharamceautical companies;
  • Over 20 blockbuster drugs;
  • Many different cancer types but often similar characterics and treatments;
  • Ongoing patent expiry gives a constant need for product portfolio replacement;
  • A trend in treatments from small molecular medicines to much more complex biopharmacuetical products, of which immunotherapies are seen as the cutting edge of new treatments;
  • A trend for Big Pharma to outsource its research and development to small biotechnology companies; this manifests itself through licence deals and corporate acquisitions;
Treatments still suffer from two main issues:
  • Efficacy issues and occurrence of side effects.
  • To tackle this and other issues, the large pharmaceutical companies are increasingly considering combination therapies with the hope that the use of combined drugs might enhance their efficacy with an adapted dose, thereby reducing adverse side effects.


Large biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly relying on external R&D, primarily that of SMEs. These outsourced research programs now represent as much as 40% of their pipeline. Vaxeal is forecasting substantial licensing and M&A transactions in the coming years.


By targeting disease segments where high value markets are experiencing rapid growth, each product developed at Vaxeal has the potential to be a blockbuster with annual sales exceeding €5 billion. Additionally, these products should qualify for regulatory fast-track and special protocol assessment.

The innovative Vaxeal cancer immunotherapies will address a large spectrum of cancer patients, as they include two tumor antigens (SVX-1 and CBX-1), which cover almost all solid tumors. The clinical results of Phase I/II trials should bring the promise of long-term survival when administered to cancer patients, and should lead to protective anti-tumor immunity with limited toxicity and adverse effects. Moreover, a better understanding of the immunological mechanisms of our vaccines will enable the more efficient development of vaccines beyond our current indications in the future.