Expert view: Understanding the fast-evolving immune-oncology landscape
The number of immuno-oncology active agents has seen a tremendous boost during the past three years. The 2019 global immuno-oncology pipeline consists of almost 3,900 agents, making immuno-oncology discovery very attractive.
It encompasses T cell-targeted immunomodulators, cancer vaccines, cell therapy, oncolytic viruses, CD3-targeted bispecific antibodies as well as immunostimulators, such as agonists of the innate immune pathway.
A recent report in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (Tang et al, 2019) stated that the immuno-oncology pipeline increased by 91 percent for active agents between 2017 and 2019. Cell therapy experienced the largest growth (800 more drugs in the pipe), while oncolytic viruses experienced the smallest (only 31 new agents). Immuno-oncology-related agents are included in 66 percent of all active trials, which evidences the continuous expansion of immuno-oncology drugs. Finally, innovation is driven by the growing number of new biological targets, of which there has been a 78 percent increase in the past two years.