Top 10 Innovative Market Leaders in Lung Cancer Treatment

Game Changers: How Pharma Companies are Disrupting Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the tissues of the lungs, most commonly in the cells lining the air passages. It is one of the most common and serious types of cancer, with high morbidity and mortality rates. 

Lung cancer is broadly categorized into two main types based on the appearance of the cancer cells under a microscope:

  1. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): The most common type, accounting for about 85% of cases. Includes subtypes such as adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
  2. Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC): More aggressive and accounts for about 15% of cases. Strongly associated with smoking.

Lung cancer remains a major public health challenge due to its high incidence and mortality rates. Understanding its risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic methods, and treatment options is crucial for early detection and effective management. Advances in research and treatment continue to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients.

The landscape of companies involved in developing drugs for lung cancer is dynamic and characterized by intense research and development efforts. Leading pharmaceutical companies are continuously working to develop and improve therapies to combat various types of lung cancer, particularly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Leaders in the Fight Against Lung Cancer

1. AstraZeneca PLC

AstraZeneca Plc is a holding corporation that focuses on pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing. Its pipeline includes treatments for oncology, cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, and respiratory diseases. The company was created on June 17, 1992, and is based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Tagrisso is approved in 101 countries for the adjuvant treatment of patients with early-stage EGFRm NSCLC and in 99 countries for both the 1st- and 2nd-line treatment of advanced EGFRm NSCLC. Imfinzi is approved in 87 countries in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III NSCLC after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and in extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in 85 countries.

  • Key Products: Tagrisso (Osimertinib), Imfinzi (Durvalumab).
  • Company Revenue: $45,811 Million.

2. Novartis

Novartis AG is a holding corporation that develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare goods. It operates in three segments: Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, and Corporate. Novartis Oncology and Novartis Pharmaceuticals are the two business areas that comprise the Innovative Medicines segment, which conducts research, development, manufacturing, distribution, and sales of patented pharmaceutical products. Sandoz develops, manufactures, and markets finished dosage form medications, as well as intermediate goods containing active pharmaceutical components. The Corporate section covers group management and central services. The company was created on February 29, 1996, and is based in Basel, Switzerland. Tabrecta (USD 0.2 billion, +16%, +16% cc) sales grew mainly in the US. Tabrecta is the first therapy approved by the FDA to specifically target metastatic NSCLC with a mutation that leads to MET exon 14 skipping (METex14) in line agnostic setting. Novartis obtained global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize Tabrecta under a license and collaboration agreement with Incyte Corporation.

  • Key Products: Zykadia (Ceritinib), Tabrecta (Capmatinib)
  • Company Revenue: $45,400 Million.

3. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd 

Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. (Roche) is a global pioneer in biotechnology and a leading provider of in-vitro diagnostics and other innovative healthcare solutions. The company aims to create healthcare solutions for cardiometabolic diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, hematologic disorders, infectious diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, respiratory diseases, gynecological diseases, and ophthalmic diseases. Tecentriq in the US sales were higher driven by the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) adjuvant indication. In Europe the growth was mainly driven by the small cell lung cancer and the hepatocellular carcinoma indications. In Japan the sales increase came from growth in the NSCLC adjuvant indication.

  • Key Products: Tarceva (Erlotinib), Tecentriq (Atezolizumab)
  • Company Revenue: $69,752 Million.

4. Eli Lilly and Company

Eli Lilly and Company is one of the world's major research-based pharmaceutical and biomedical corporations, noted for developing and producing a diverse variety of prescription pharmaceuticals for humans and animals. Lilly was established in 1876 and became a publicly traded business in 1952. As of 2023, the Indianapolis-based corporation has about 42,900 employees worldwide. Cyramza (Ramucirumab) is used in combination with another agent as a second-line treatment of metastatic NSCLC.

  • Key Products: Cyramza (Ramucirumab).
  • Company Revenue: $34,124 Million.

5. Pfizer

Pfizer, one of the world's biggest pharmaceutical corporations, was founded over 170 years ago. They concentrate in expert therapy across six product portfolios: vaccines, oncology, internal medicine, rare diseases, inflammation and immunology, and hospitals. Charles Pfizer Sr. and Charles Erhart formed the corporation in 1849, and its headquarters are in New York, NY. Lorbrena is used for treatment of ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC. Xalkori is used for treatment of ALK-positive and Proto-Oncogene 1, Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-positive advanced NSCLC.

  • Key Products: Xalkori (Crizotinib), Lorbrena (Lorlatinib).
  • Company Revenue: $58,496 Million.

6. Merck & Co.

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global health care corporation that provides health solutions through prescription medications, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products, which it offers both directly and through joint ventures. The Company's operations include pharmaceuticals, animal health, and consumer care. In 1668, Jacob Friedrich Merck established the corporation as a bought drug store in Darmstadt, Germany. Merck & Co. was established as a subsidiary in the United States in 1891. In January 2023, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as a single agent for adjuvant treatment following surgical resection and platinum-based chemotherapy for adult patients with stage IB (T2a ≥4 cm), II, or IIIA NSCLC, based on the KEYNOTE-091 trial. In October 2023, EC approval as a monotherapy for the adjuvant treatment of adults with NSCLC who are at high risk of recurrence following complete resection and platinum-based chemotherapy, based on the KEYNOTE-091 trial.

  • Key Products: Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
  • Company Revenue: $60,115 Million.

7. Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is involved in the discovery, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sale of biopharmaceuticals. The company sells chemically created pharmaceuticals or tiny molecules, as well as biologics, which are goods produced through biological processes. The company was started in August 1933 and is based in New York, NY. OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is a prescription medicine used in combination with YERVOY® (ipilimumab) and 2 cycles of chemotherapy that contains platinum and another chemotherapy medicine, as a first treatment for adults with a type of advanced stage lung cancer (called non-small cell lung cancer) when your lung cancer has spread or grown, or comes back, and your tumor does not have an abnormal EGFR or ALK gene.

  • Key Products: Opdivo (Nivolumab), Yervoy (Ipilimumab).
  • Company Revenue: $45,006 Million.

8. Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a pharmaceutical company that conducts research and development, manufactures products, imports and exports, and markets them. It operates in three segments: prescription drugs, consumer healthcare, and other. The Prescription Drugs section involves the production and marketing of pharmaceutical items. The Consumer Healthcare segment manufactures and sells over-the-counter medications and quasidrugs. The Other category covers the production and marketing of reagents, clinical diagnostics, and chemical goods. Takeda Chobei created the corporation on June 12, 1781, and its headquarters are in Osaka, Japan.  In May 22, 2020 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ALUNBRIG (brigatinib) for adult patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test. This approval expands ALUNBRIG’s current indication to include the first-line setting. ALUNBRIG is a potent and selective next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) designed to target ALK molecular alterations.

  • Key Products: Alunbrig (Brigatinib).
  • Company Revenue: $30,300 Million.

9. Amgen, Inc.

Amgen, Inc. is a biotechnology business that focuses on the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of human treatments. Its brands include: Aranesp, BLINCYTO, Corlanor, ENBREL, EPOGEN, IMLYGIC, KYPROLIS, Neulasta, NEUPOGEN, Nplate, Parsabiv, Prolia, Repatha, Sensipar, Vectibix, and XGEVA. William K. Bowes, Jr., Franklin Pitcher Johnson, Jr., George B. Rathmann, and Joseph Rubinfeld started the corporation on April 8, 1980, and its headquarters are in Thousand Oaks, California. In December 2023, FDA approved Lumakras in treatment of adults with previously treated locally advanced or metastatic KRAS G12C-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). LUMAKRAS at 960 mg oncedaily will remain the dose for patients with KRAS G12C-mutated NSCLC under accelerated approval.

  • Key Products: Lumakras (Sotorasib).
  • Company Revenue: $28,190 Million.

10. Sanofi

Sanofi is a global leader in healthcare and pharmaceuticals headquartered in Paris, France. It operates in three business segments: pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare, and vaccines. The Pharmaceuticals business includes the commercial operations of the following worldwide franchises: specialized care, diabetes and cardiovascular, established prescription medicines and generics, and R&D and production activities. The Consumer Healthcare sector include the commercial operations for its Consumer Healthcare goods. The Vaccines section includes Sanofi Pasteur's commercial operations. LIBTAYO is approved in the United States and Europe for the treatment of two types of locally advanced or metastatic skin cancer (cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is also approved in Brazil and Canada as a second line treatment for recurring or metastatic cervical cancer. In the fourth quarter of 2022, it was approved in the United States in association with chemotherapy for the treatment of NSCLC.

  • Key Products: Libtayo (Cemiplimab).
  • Company Revenue: $46,762 Million

Author: Pranabesh Dutta

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