Haematology has the greatest number of drug trials in progress of all cancer specialties, according to a new analysis.
The large number of haematological cancer drugs in development cover leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, among other conditions, according to researchers.
Analysis from global business intelligence provider GBI Research say report that the haematological cancer 'pipeline' is the largest in oncology, with 1,474 programmes in active development and 477 first-in-class pipeline programmes, which identify new therapeutic targets.
They based their report on information from drug trial databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis by their industry experts.
Of these pharmaceutical investigations, the greatest proportion involve cytokine signalling targets, with the second largest being kinase inhibitors. Both of these work with components of the immune system.
One major example of a cytokine signalling-based drug already in use is aldesleukin, a form of recombinant interleukin-2, which is approved in the US and several European countries for the treatment of cancers including malignant melanoma, the researchers say.
Many kinase inhibitors are available for the treatment of cancer, and new kinase inhibitors are being created to form part of the next generation of combination therapy treatments.
Report author Callum Dew said: 'As these disorders affect the immune cells within the blood and bone marrow, there is a high degree of pathophysiological crossover between the separate types of malignancy within haematological cancers, so it is not uncommon for products being developed for this therapy area to be tested across multiple indications.'
At present, 229 drugs are in development for two or more haematological cancer indications, which 'highlights the versatility of current pipeline programmes', Mr Dew said.
He added that the proportion of first-in-class molecular targets in the pipeline is higher that the industry average, at 27%.
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