An Average of 80% of Drug in the Oncology Pipeline May Be First-in-Class Medicines


RDPAC released the reportFaces of Innovation: Meeting the Challenge of Cancer


[January  19, 2017, Guangzhou] With the 16th“World Cancer Day” approaching on  February 4, the R&D Based Pharmaceutical Association Committee of the China  Association of Enterprises together with Foreign Investment (RDPAC) releasedFaces of Innovation: Meeting the Challenge  of Cancerin Guangzhou  today. The report not only outlines the critical situation and heavy burden  caused by cancer in China and the whole world, but also demonstrates the  potential benefits of enhancing drug innovation and improving drug  accessibility for extending patient life expectancy, improving the patient  quality of life and reducing the burden of disease on society.



Dr. Karl Lintel, RDPAC Executive Committee member

Dr.  Karl Lintel, RDPAC Executive  Committee member, said “government, social organizations, enterprises and  individuals should collaboratively promote research and development of  innovative medicines and therapies, and proactively improve patients’  accessibility, so as to accelerate the realization of the goals of cancer  prevention and treatment in China.”


With 2.81 million  deaths every year, cancer has become a serious disease burden to China


With an estimated 4.29 million new cancer cases diagnosed in 2015, China  accounted for over one fifth of the world’s cancer diagnoses. It estimated that  2.81 million people died from cancer in 2015.[1]The 5-year survival rate of all  cancers in China was estimated at 36.9%,[1] compared to 70% in the United States in  2012.[2]Cancer prevention has become an important public health issue in China, with  the disease placing a heavy burden on families the medical system. Among all  cancers, treatment of colorectal cancer and esophageal cancer in Chinese urban  areas incurs the highest costs, approximately 10,000USD per capita.[3]  


As  China’s population, in particular its elderly population, continues to grow,  cancer poses a serious challenge to the country. China’s primary task in cancer  today is to use integrated cancer intervention, screening and early diagnosis  and treatment to reduce the burden of treatment, cure or expand patients’ life  expectancy and improve the survival rate.


Mortality has been reduced by 23% over the past 20 years, with 80% due to  innovative treatment



Mike Dethick, Managing Director of RDPAC


Mike Dethick, Managing Director of RDPAC introduced that February 4th  marks the annual “World Cancer Day” designated by the Union for International  Cancer Control (UICC), a day aiming to promote cooperation and accelerate  progress in cancer research, prevention, treatment and other fields through  innovation. The theme of World Cancer Day in 2017 is “WE CAN, I CAN”. The  optimism and determination expressed in this slogan is supported by actual  resultsand progress delivered through drug innovation and investment.



 Prof. Wu Yilong, President of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology


“Take  lung cancer as example,” says Prof. Wu Yilong, President of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology  (CSCO). “Today, patients in the terminal stage have a life expectancy of 4 or  even 5 years, compared to an original one year. This is a huge improvement, and  it relies on the continued development of new innovative medicine. ”



 Dr. Katrin Rupalla, Head of Development of Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D China


“Over the  last 20 years, there have been remarkable improvements made in research for  cancer treatment,” says Dr. Katrin Rupalla, Head of Development of  Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D China. “According to 2016 data from the America  Cancer Association, the highest mortality rate was seen in the early 1990s, and  this number has since declined by 23%. About 83% of this reduction was due to  new treatments for cancer.[4]From surgery, chemotherapy and targeted therapy to the latest immuno-oncology  (I-O) treatments and gene therapy, we are more and more confident that we can  conquer cancer through continuous improvements in research and development, as  well as deeper research in the cancer genome atlas.”



Dr. Frances Chang, Vice President of Roche China Medical Affairs.



“A  recent report from PhRMA showed that as of late 2015, there were more than 800  cancer medicines in development, while 73% of cancer medicines had the  potential to become “Personalized Medicines,”[5]Dr. Frances Chang,  Vice President of Roche China Medical Affairs. “There is no doubt that  precision medicine is an important method for cancer prevention and treatment  in the future. On the one hand It uses diagnostic tools to identify specific  genetic markers, on the other hand it uses traditional clinical trial data,  advanced diagnosis and testing data and real world data, to help assess which  medical treatments and procedures will be best for each patient to prolong and  improve their life.”


Making joint efforts to improve accessibility of drugs and benefit  patients as early as possible


Based  on the latest research from IMS, China still ranked far behind the US, UK and  other developed countries in the accessibility of new cancer drugs from  2010-2014. Only 6 new drugs among a total 49 are on the Chinese market for  patients to use.[6]“A  decade ago, it would take eight to ten years for a new targeted therapy to  enter the market,” says Prof. Wu Yilong. “Nowadays it only needs 2-3 years, and  it will be even faster in the future. However, it takes about 3-5 more years  for new drugs to enter the Chinese market. In recent years, the situation has  been greatly improved by the efforts made by all parties working together, and  more patients will be benefited if the speed further accelerates. From the  long-term perspective, it is crucial to improve the top-level design of cancer  prevention and drug innovation and enhance research in genetic sequencing from  the national level in order to tackle the challenges in cancer treatment. We  can also learn from the experience of Western countries. We hope that, in the  near future, cancer can be considered a chronic disease just the same as  hypertension and diabetes, something people could live with.”


[1]Wanqing Chen, et al. Cancer Statistics in China, 2015.CA Cancer J  Clin. 2016;66:115-32

[2]American Association for Cancer Research. AACR Cancer Progress  Report 2014. Clin Cancer Res. 2014;20(Suppl 1):S1-S112

[3]Hui-Yao, Huang et al. Expenditure and financial burden for common  cancers in China: a hospital-based multicenter cross-sectional study, 2016

[4]E.Sun, et al. The Determinants of Recent Gains in Cancer Survival:  An Analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results(SEER) Database,  Journal of Clinical Oncology, May 2008.

[5]PHRMA, Medicines in Development for Cancer, 2015.

[6]IMS Institute for Health Care Informatics, Global Oncology Trend  Report: A Review of 2015 and Outlook for 2020

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