For Treatment of Extensive-Disease Small-Cell Lung Cancer (ED-SCLC), No
Emerging Therapy is Likely to Replace Etoposide/Carboplatin as the Standard of
Care Before 2022
Among Newly Diagnosed Patients, Increasing Overall Survival is one of the
Greatest Unmet Needs in ED-SCLC, According to a New Report from Decision
BURLINGTON, Mass., April 23, 2013
BURLINGTON, Mass., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Decision Resources, one of
the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and
healthcare issues, finds that, despite the numerous therapies in clinical
development for extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer (ED-SCLC), no
emerging therapy is likely to replace etoposide (Bristol-Myers Squibb's
Etopophos/VePesid, generics)/carboplatin (generics) as the standard of care
before 2022. Interviewed experts complain that treatment for SCLC has changed
very little in decades, and—given the challenges of treating this aggressive
disease and the current clinical pipeline—experts are pessimistic that the
treatment landscape will improve in the near future.
The DecisionBase 2013 report entitled How Receptive Would Oncologists and
Payers Be to Therapies That Partially Address the Unmet Needs of Patients with
Advanced Disease? finds that surveyed U.S. and European oncologists agree that
increasing overall survival (OS) is one of the greatest unmet needs in
ED-SCLC. Despite high response rates with first-line therapy, most patients
relapse within a year after treatment and survival rates remain dismal.
Experts admit that, should efficacy benefits be seen with therapies in
development—such as Ziopharm Oncology's Zymafos, Bristol-Myers Squibb's
Yervoy, Genentech/Roche/Chugai's Avastin or Immunogen's lorvotuzumab
mertansine—these benefits will likely be only incremental improvements that
will not transform current treatment practice. According to the findings, a
drug that offers marked improvement in survival presents a strong commercial
opportunity to developers, although no drug in clinical development is
expected to impart such substantial gains.
The report also finds that most surveyed managed care organization (MCO)
pharmacy directors would consider reimbursing new therapies at a substantial
premium to the current standard of care if such drugs can impart meaningful
gains in survival relative to etoposide/carboplatin. Surveyed payers indicated
that ED-SCLC therapies that impart an OS benefit could command price premiums
as high as 20 times the cost of etoposide/carboplatin regimen and still be
able to obtain reimbursement. This willingness to include premium-priced drugs
on formulary reflects the dearth of therapies for ED-SCLC that improve
survival relative to etoposide/carboplatin.
"A major problem in the treatment of ED-SCLC is the development of
chemoresistant disease," said Decision Resources Senior Analyst Regina Jammen.
"Finding therapies that can be used upfront for newly diagnosed patients that
do not induce resistance would be a real benefit to patients. Such a therapy
would likely not provide a cure but oncologists and patients alike would value
new therapies that extend survival beyond what we are seeing now. It is
reassuring to know that payers would accept substantial price increases over
current treatments for innovative therapies and would include them on
formulary, even if cost controls slow uptake of these potential new
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SOURCE Decision Resources
Contact: Christopher Comfort, Decision Resources Group, 781-993-2597,
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