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Targeting Global Anti-angiogenesis Markets

Driven by a growing and ageing population, the WHO forecasts that 12 million people will die worldwide from cancer in 2030 up from 7.8 million in 2010. Coupled with an increased incidence of diabetes, ocular neovascular disorders, including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are predicted to rise from 47.7 to 73.5 million over the same period (ARVO 2011).

Angiogenesis, the term given to the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature, is associated with numerous diseases most notably the establishment and growth of tumours and ocular neovascular disorders. Consequently, the oncology and ophthalmology space have been the clinical arena for the development of anti-angiogenic therapy to date and represent its main markets (Fig 1).


Fig 1

Fig 1

Anti-angiogenesis therapy has grown since 2005 into a global market valued at approx. $12.0 billion (2010) and predicted to reach $18.0 billion by 2015 (notes 1, 2). The market is currently dominated by various classes of drugs collectively known as anti-VEGFs. For both the ophthalmology and oncology space, anti-VEGFs have witnessed double-digit growth in recent years and have become a dominant drug class in these markets (Fig.2).

Despite their popularity, use of anti-VEGFs has recognised drawbacks including significant side effects, poor therapeutic efficacy towards particular cancers and sub-groups of ocular neovascular disorders and acquired resistance following prolonged use. Consequently, new classes of anti-angiogenic therapeutics that either exceed the performance of anti-VEGFs or when combined with them enhance their efficacy/safety profile are urgently needed.

Fig 2

Fig 2

Vasgen has developed innovative targeted antibody technology for the potential development of therapeutics to treat diseases characterised by pathological angiogenesis and to target cancer progression respectively. Vasgen’s development of a therapeutic ADAM15 AbIMP could provide an important addition to existing anti-angiogenic therapies, thereby offering excellent potential for rapid uptake and significant penetration within this market. Vasgen favours a strategy of prioritising entry of its ADAM15 AbIMP into the ophthalmology market, targeting unmet needs in wet AMD (market $4bn), followed by entry into the cancer market via targeting aggressive  prostate and breast cancers where ADAM15 expression correlates strongly with disease progression.

As there is growing evidence to indicate that the ADAMs and other metzincins may be important disease drivers or prognostic/diagnostic biomarkers, the requirement for the development of additional therapeutic AbIMP candidates may become an important market driver.


  1. The anti-angiogenesis market value (2010) is a combination of global sales in 2010 for the market leading anti-angiogenic drugs Avastin ($6.3bn), Lucentis ($2.97bn), Sutent ($1.07bn), Nexavar ($0.94bn), Torisel ($0.26bn), Afinitor ($0.24bn), Votrient ($0.06bn) and Macugen ($0.015bn) operating in the cancer and ocular spaces. Sources: Genentech website, PDL Biopharma website, Gorkin, L & Waite, J (2011) Business Intelligence Analysis: Focus on Renal Cell Carcinoma, Gorkin & Cheddar Consulting & Stelerix Inc. & Pfizer website.  Cross referenced with EvaluatePharma website.
  2. The projected anti-angiogenesis market value for 2015 is an estimate based upon several independent reports for ocular and cancer anti-VEGF drugs. The wet AMD market is projected to be worth $8.2bn in 2016 dominated by Lucentis and Eylea: Syed BA, Evans JB & Bielory L (2012) Wet AMD Market. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 11, 827 doi:10.1038/nrd3790. Genentech projected US Avastin sales of $10bn in 2015: Nature Biotechnology 28, 879–880 (2010) doi:10.1038/nbt0910-879 & Epsicom projected Avastin sales of 9bn in 2015 in their 2010 report “Threats to Avastin.”Projected sales of multi-receptor TKI’s in 2015 are approx. $2.5 billion in the renal cell carcinoma market: Various sources.