Coherent Market Insights

Oncology Drugs Market is estimated to be valued at USD 231.56 Bn in 2024

Oncology Drugs Market is estimated to be valued at USD 231.56 Bn in 2024 - Coherent Market Insights

Publish In: Mar 19, 2024

The oncology drugs market is estimated to be valued at USD 231.56 billion in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 12.6% over the forecast period (2024-2031). The increasing prevalence of cancer globally is a key factor driving the growth of the oncology drugs market. Cancer causes one in six deaths worldwide and the number of new cancer cases is estimated to rise from 18.1 million in 2018 to 29.5 million by 2040. Furthermore, continuous innovations including new targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and personalized medicines are expanding treatment options for patients.

Market Dynamics:

The growth of the oncology drugs market is attributed to increasing incidences of cancer and continuous product innovations. One of the major drivers is the rising prevalence of cancer owing to changing lifestyle patterns, tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and growing geriatric population. According to the World Health Organization, the cancer burden is expected to grow to 27.5 million new cancer cases and 16.3 million cancer deaths by 2040. Moreover, favorable government policies supporting drug development and product launches along with increasing healthcare expenditure are contributing to the market growth. Continuous R&D investments by key players for developing novel targeted therapies have also widened treatment options and positively impacted the oncology drugs market growth.

Increasing incidence of cancer is driving the demand for oncology drugs

The global burden of cancer has been rising significantly over the past few decades. According to the WHO, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. The increasing incidence of various cancer types such as lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer is a major factor driving the demand for advanced oncology drugs globally. Pharmaceutical companies are constantly developing novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies to effectively treat different stages of cancer. This has expanded treatment options available for patients and oncologists. The growing cancer patient pool worldwide presents a massive market potential for oncology drug manufacturers.

Advancements in cancer research are leading to newer targeted therapies

Constant advancements are being made in understanding the molecular basis of cancer which is facilitating the development of personalized and targeted therapies. Researchers are gaining valuable insights into cancer signaling pathways and identifying biomarkers that can be exploited for drug development. This is enabling companies to design drugs that precisely target genetic mutations driving tumor growth. As a result, several targeted therapies attacking specific cancer-related molecules have been approved in recent years. Examples include tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies and Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. The availability of such precision medicines offer higher response rates and improved quality of life for patients. This progress in cancer research acts as a key driver propelling the oncology drugs market.

Patent expiries of key drugs are restricting the market growth

A major restraint faced by oncology drug makers is the looming patent expiry of their blockbuster drug products. When the patents of highly lucrative drugs expire, it opens the door for cheap generic versions to enter the market. This intensifies competition and puts downward pressure on drug prices, negatively impacting revenues. For example, the patents of cancer drugs like Afinitor, Xgeva, and Ibrance will expire in the next 3-5 years. Similarly, patents protecting multibillion-dollar immunotherapies like Keytruda and Opdivo will expire by 2028. The loss of monopoly over these branded drugs after patent expiry is bound to restrict the growth trajectory of companies in the oncology drugs sector.

High cost of drug development is hampering innovation

Developing a new cancer medication from the discovery stage through clinical trials to U.S. approval requires billions of dollars in investment. The cost of drug development has skyrocketed over the years due to lengthy clinical phases, stringent regulatory norms and high failure rates of drug candidates. This massive financial risk involved acts as a restraint, discouraging smaller pharmaceuical players from venturing into oncology. Even for large companies, high R&D costs put pressure on profit margins, limiting further research and stalling pipeline expansion. The need to recover heavy investments also impacts drug affordability for payers and patients. The huge capital requirements thus pose a challenge to sustained innovation in the oncology field.

Increasing healthcare expenditure in emerging nations

A positive opportunity for industry players lies in the rising healthcare budgets of developing countries. Along with the growing disease burden, economic growth is driving an expansion in healthcare expenditure across Asia Pacific and Latin American nations. This is creating a more conducive environment for cancer treatment and drug access. It allows oncology drug makers to tap new geographic markets and expand patient reach. Multinational companies are actively seeking distributor partnerships and setting up manufacturing facilities in emerging regions. India, China, Brazil and others present lucrative markets where sales revenues are projected to see double-digit growth over the next five years. This rising expenditure provides scope to drive volume growth and commercial success.

Personalized medicine trend is opening new avenues

Another key area offering market potential is the evolving paradigm of personalized therapy. Advances in genomic profiling technologies are enabling a shift toward individualized treatment approaches based on a patient's molecular profile and biomarkers. This allows targeting the right medication to the right patients, thereby improving responses. It is leading drug makers to develop companion diagnostics and combination therapies. The pursuit of precision oncology centered around biomarkers, genetics and liquid biopsies is opening new revenue streams. More investments are being directed towards developing personalized cancer vaccines, cell and gene therapies with curative potential. The trend presents lucrative commercial opportunities for first-movers in this space.

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Key Development

  • On March 7, 2024, Bristol Myers Squibb, a global pharmaceutical corporation, disclosed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine. This approval pertains to its utilization as a first-line treatment for adult patients with unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC), the predominant variant of bladder cancer.
  • On January 25, 2024, Alphamab Oncology, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical enterprise, and 3DMedicines, an innovative biopharmaceutical leader, declared a licensing agreement with Glenmark Specialty S.A., a subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a renowned pharmaceutical firm. This agreement entails the subcutaneous injection PD-L1 antibody drug, with Glenmark obtaining exclusive licensing rights for clinical development and commercialization of oncology products in specific regions. Glenmark's exclusivity spans across India, Asia Pacific (excluding Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia), the Middle East, Africa, Russia, CIS, and Latin America.
  • On January 12, 2024, Merck & Co., Inc., a multinational pharmaceutical giant, disclosed that the U.S. FDA has granted approval for KEYTRUDA, the company's anti-PD-1 therapy. This approval encompasses its usage in combination with chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for the treatment of patients diagnosed with 2014 Stage III-IVA cervical cancer.
  • On January 8, 2024, Johnson & Johnson, a prominent healthcare corporation, declared the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Ambrx Biopharma, Inc., or Ambrx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical enterprise specializing in utilizing a proprietary synthetic biology technology platform for designing and developing next-generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). Ambrx is actively progressing a targeted portfolio of clinical and preclinical initiatives aimed at optimizing the efficacy and safety profiles of its potential candidates across various cancer indications.

Key Players: Pfizer Inc., Novartis AG, AstraZeneca PLC, Gilead Sciences Inc., Amgen Inc., Sanofi AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Merck & Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., GSK plc, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, BeiGene LTD, Astellas Pharma Inc., AbbVie Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and Daiichi Sankyo

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