Melanoma market to reach $2.8 billion by 2021

Melanoma market to reach $2.8 billion by 2021
Melanoma market value growth predicted due to increasing patient numbers and market entry of novel pipeline therapies
Bristol-Myers Squibb set to increase dominance with PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab

The branded melanoma market is set to grow to over $2.8bn across the US and major European markets* by 2021, driven by increasing patient numbers, organic growth of key marketed drugs, and the entry of novel therapies into the melanoma market.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is set to be a big winner as its promising PD-1 inhibitor, nivolumab, moves into Phase III development. With its immunotherapy Yervoy currently dominating the first-line treatment of metastatic melanoma, Bristol-Myers Squibb's share of the melanoma market is set to increase substantially over the coming years.

Phase I trial results presented at ASCO 2013 indicated that nivolumab shows real potential, both as a single agent and in combination with Yervoy.  If these results can be replicated in the drug's ongoing Phase III trials, significant uptake is expected, with forecasted US and EU* market sales of $436m in 2021.

Melanoma accounts for just 5% of all skin cancer cases, but is responsible for over 75% of deaths. Over the last 30 years there has been adramatic increase in incidence among Caucasian populations as exposure to risk factors has risen. In the US, melanoma is the fifth most common malignancy among men and the sixth most common among women, with an estimated 133,700 cases across the US, Japan and five major EU markets* in 2013.

Dr Áine Slowey, analyst at Datamonitor Healthcare, said:

"Nivolumab will gain market share in melanoma and will actively compete with Merck's PD-1 inhibitor lambrolizumab in the first-line setting. Nivolumab will also experience considerable uptake as part of combination therapy with Yervoy, which has demonstrated significant clinical activity in Phase I trials."

"Bristol-Myers Squibb will have to carefully position nivolumab as a monotherapy in this market in order to prevent head-to-head competition between its two immunotherapies in the first-line setting of melanoma. The combination therapy of nivolumab and Yervoy will also have to be priced appropriately to ensure uptake in more cost-conservative markets, such as the UK."

Datamonitor's latest melanoma forecasts, opinion and research was updated in July 2013 and is available at