The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market size was valued at USD 1.22 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2022 to 2030. The increasing prevalence of head and neck cancer is anticipated to fuel market growth. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in the U.S., approximately 4% of all cancer cases are related to the head and neck. It is estimated that around 66,470 people including 48,520 men and 17,950 women were diagnosed with this disease in 2022. Head and neck cancer patients are potentially at high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infections as they require frequent outpatient visits to assess disease progression and the use of systemic drug therapies to control serious disease conditions.
According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, nonsurgical therapies were the most preferred treatment option for HNC patients by physicians instead of surgical treatment being first-line treatment due to COVID-19-specific multilevel risks to HNC patients. Therefore, demand for nonsurgical therapeutics such as chemotherapy, immunosuppressive, and targeted therapy increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presence of a strong product pipeline and their expected launch will contribute to market growth. Some of the products in the pipeline are Tipifarnib (Farnesyltransferase Inhibitor), tiragolumab (anti-TIGIT), Tecentriq (atezolizumab), Rozlytrek (entrectinib), and Afatinib. Successful completion of trials and subsequent approval is anticipated to drive market growth over the forecast period. In February 2021, the U.S. FDA granted breakthrough therapy designation to Tipifarnib developed by Kura Oncology, Inc., for the treatment of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This is a potent, selective, and orally administered drug.
The immunotherapy segment dominated the market and is expected to witness a significant revenue share of 43.8% in 2021. According to the Cancer Research Institute, there are currently 2 approved PD-L1 inhibitors including Nivolumab (Opdivo), and Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer. Dostarlimab (Jemperli) is currently in Phase II clinical trials for metastatic or recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Thus, approval of new immunotherapy drugs is expected to fuel segment growth.
Targeted therapy was the second-largest revenue-generating segment in 2021. This can be attributed to promising and effective results associated with the use of targeted therapy as a treatment option for head and neck cancer patients. This therapy includes EGFR monoclonal antibodies (nimotuzumab, panitumumab, Cetuximab, zalutumumab) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (erlotinib, Gefitinib, dacomitinib, afatinib, lapatinib). However, the side effects associated with the long-term use of these therapies are linked to several complications that may restrain segment growth.
The injectable segment dominated the market and is expected to witness a significant revenue share of 88.2% in 2021. This can be attributed to factors such as the wide availability of a large number of HNC therapeutic drugs in injectable form, better availability, and high efficiency of injectable drugs. There are a large number of drugs available in injectable form. For instance, Keytruda manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., is administrated by intravenous route as an infusion in patients with head and neck cancer.
The oral route of administration is expected to be the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period due to increasing oral therapeutics drugs for the treatment of patients with HNC. Inlyta (axitinib) is an orally administered HNC drug that has completed a phase 2 clinical trial in patients with head and neck cancer. Thus, the successful completion of the trial and subsequent launch are projected to drive segment growth.
The retail and specialty pharmacies segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 57.4% in 2021. The dominance can be attributed to the high preference of manufacturers for distributing their products owing to easy access to medicines and low distribution costs. According to Drug Channels Institute’s report 2021, Humana specialty pharmacy, Accredo, CVS Specialty, Walgreens stores, and Optum specialty pharmacy were the world’s top five specialty pharmacies.
Moreover, the retail and specialty pharmacies segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the easy availability of a wide range of products. In addition, the rising number of retail pharmacies in both developed, as well as developing countries, has led to high growth in this segment. HNC products are widely available in specialty and retail pharmacies. This is expected to drive the growth of the segment.
North America dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of around 44.6% in 2021. Government support for the development of the healthcare sector, favorable reimbursement policies, high awareness about the disease, and easy accessibility to quality medical facilities are among the key factors responsible for regional market growth.
In Asia Pacific, the market for head and neck cancer therapeutics is anticipated to grow at the fastest rate over the forecast period. The increasing geriatric populations and increasing prescription of immunotherapy drugs such as Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and Nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of various types of HNC are expected to drive market growth in coming years.
Major players are adopting strategies such as mergers and acquisitions for regional expansion and for a greater market share. For instance, in December 2021, Sanofi acquired Amunix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at a cost of USD 1 billion. This acquisition strengthens the company’s oncology product portfolio and offers a high growth opportunity for the company. Some of the prominent players in the global head and neck cancer therapeutics market include:
Eli Lilly and Company
Merck & Co., Inc.
Clinigen Group plc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
Market size value in 2022
USD 1.37 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 3.5 billion
CAGR of 12.5% from 2022 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2020
2022 - 2030
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2022 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Therapy type, route of administration, distribution channel, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA
U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; France; Spain; Italy; China; Japan; India; Australia; South Korea; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; UAE
Key companies profiled
Eli Lilly and Company; Sanofi; Merck & Co., Inc.; Clinigen Group plc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; AstraZeneca; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global head and neck cancer therapeutics market report based on the therapy type, route of administration, distribution channel, and region:
Therapy Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Route of Administration Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Retail & Specialty Pharmacies
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
b. The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market size was estimated at USD 1.22 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 1.37 billion in 2022.
b. The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 3.5 billion by 2030.
b. The immunotherapy segment dominated the head and neck cancer therapeutics market with a share of 43.9% in 2021. This is attributable to the high sale of branded PD inhibitors such as Keytruda and Opdivo.
b. Some key players operating in the head and neck cancer drugs/therapeutics market include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, and Sanofi S.A. amongst others
b. Key factors that are driving the market growth include increasing R&D investments for the development of novel therapies, the rising prevalence of head and neck cancer, and rising government initiatives.
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