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A Pool of Lucrative Prospects for the Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market through 2027
Published Date: 16 Jun 2022

Our bodies are vulnerable to several bacteria, viruses, and foreign particles that can potentially cause various diseases & infections. Hence, a robust immune system is crucial to fight & resist such vulnerabilities. While some viruses might cause common cold and fever, other diseases can affect one's health. Cancer is one such disease that severely complicates the usual body functioning in patients and has become a prominent cause of death globally.

With rapid advancements in medical science, the world today has multiple therapies for patients with different cancers, and among all, immunotherapy is one such treatment dedicated principally to strengthening the immune system to fight & resist the growth of cancer cells.

This therapy categorizes different medications depending on the patient health conditions. One of its most prominent categories is Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, i.e., practiced worldwide on cancer patients and are a part of the immune system that prevents an immune response from killing the healthy cells.

With the growing public awareness of different applications & better outcomes from these inhibitors, their demand is elevating rapidly worldwide, owing to which the Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market is anticipated to witness around 17% CAGR during 2022-27. Among the different types of Immune Checkpoint inhibitors, CTLA-4 is a prominent protein, while other types include the PD-1 or its partner protein PD-L1.

T Cells and the Working of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

The prominent role of the immune system is to protect the body from diseases, viruses, bacteria, etc. and is done by the T cells. These cells have proteins that turn on the immune system and are called checkpoint proteins.

Some checkpoint proteins help the T cells to become active in case there is an infection present in the body. However, at times when these cells are active for way too long, they tend to damage the healthy cells & tissues too. It is when other checkpoint proteins tell the T cells to turn off.

In the case of Cancer, the production of protein is high & turns off the T cells. As a result, it prevents the T cells from attacking the cancer cells and contributes to their multiplication. It is when the body needs a push in the immune system and drives the demand for Immune checkpoint inhibitors and directs the glitched checkpoint protein to kill the cancer cells.

The Three Types of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

In Immunotherapy, there are three prominent types of Immune Checkpoint inhibitors drugs that block checkpoint proteins & stop them from killing the healthy cells instead of cancer. These checkpoints turn the immune system back on & enable the T cells to find & attack the cancer cells.

  1. Yervoy (Ipilimumab) block the CTLA-4 inhibitor and allow T cells to continue their function of strengthening the resistance of the immune system. It has shown extended survival rates in cancer patients, including that of Advanced Melanoma & Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
  2. Opdivo (Nivolumab) & Keytruda (Pembrolizumab) block PD-1 & are used for the treatment of the Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer, Head & Neck Cancers, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Kidney Cancer, Melanoma, and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  3. Tecentriq (Atezolizumab), Bavencio (Avelumab), and Imfinzi (Durvalumab) block the PD-L1, a molecule triggering the negative immune checkpoint PD-1. These drugs are ideal for the treatment of Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Each type of immune checkpoint inhibitor demonstrates different side effects. Additionally, it is crucial to understand that, to date, not all types of cancer can be treated using this immunotherapy. However, various ongoing research & development activities on immune checkpoint inhibitors are likely to bring significant advancements in the future.

As we have learned so far, these inhibitors stimulate the entire immune system in the body. They sometimes cause the immune cells to attack the health cells & tissues. Hence, there are possibilities that it might also trigger a few side effects in the process. The common side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu, etc. 

On the other hand, the rare side effects of these inhibitors include the following, depending upon the affected organs:

  • Abdominal pain & diarrhea
  • Cough, chest pain, & difficulty in breathing
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis (liver inflammation)
  • Hypophysitis (pituitary gland inflammation)
  • Muscle weakness and numbness
  • Myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation)
  • Nephritis (kidney inflammation) and impaired kidney function
  • Skin issues like rash & itchiness
  • The overactive or underactive thyroid gland

What’s in the future for the Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market?

Currently, the application of immunotherapies using immune checkpoint inhibitors is limited only to a few cancers, which are also the most prevalent ones responsible for high deaths worldwide. The search for cancer treatments with higher possibilities of better patient outcomes has created an immense need for immune checkpoint inhibitors. As a result, governments of different countries are participating actively in various research & development activities to yield more effective & safe therapeutics, which indicates profitable prospects for the Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market in the years ahead.

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