Cancer vaccines field to see sizable growth, report says

Though cancer vaccines have seen limited success and late-stage clinical failures in recent years, a new report by Infiniti Research suggests they're here to stay and will begin taking off in a big way.

Through 2019, cancer vaccines will see a CAGR of 27.24%, the report says, with the main growth drivers being an increased prevalence of cancer, the practice of pairing cancer vaccines with other therapies and corporate partnerships.

Those trends are likely no surprise for industry watchers, who have seen the climate head in that direction for some time. Last October, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Aduro ($ADRO) signed a partnership potentially worth more than $1 billion to work with the biotech's GVAX on several types of cancer. And in March, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and Bavarian Nordic inked a $1 billion deal on Bavarian Nordic's prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac.

Cancer, the analysts say, is a leading cause of death worldwide, with 14 million cases in 2012 and 8.2 million deaths, contributing to the rise in demand for vaccines. Lung, prostate, colorectal, cervical and breast cancers are the most common forms.

Though 2014 saw late-stage clinical failures in the field by Merck KGaA and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), researchers are hopeful that cancer vaccines could benefit from pairing with checkpoint inhibitors, another trend that the analysts predict will contribute to the field's growth.

Recommended as a solo therapy by an FDA panel in April for melanoma, Amgen's ($AMGN) oncolytic immunotherapy T-Vec is no stranger to pairing. It's being tested in conjunction with Merck's ($MRK) Keytruda on head and neck cancer and metastatic melanoma, as well as with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy in melanoma. Other combo trials include Bavarian Nordic's Prostvac in combo with Yervoy as well as Bristol-Myers' Opdivo and GVAX.

Secondary growth drivers listed were a rising public awareness of vaccines, late-stage pipeline candidates and patient-assistance programs.

- here's the release
- and the report