Immuno-Oncology Deal Trends, 2012–16


Immuno-oncology is an emerging field in medicine that has the potential to radically change how cancer is treated. The Big Pharma and Mid Pharma peer sets are an integral part of development and have been furthering efforts via deal-making. The peer groups signed more than 300 immuno-oncology deals between 2012 and 2016, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 48%. Aggregate deal value over this period was $48bn. The majority of deals involved development of drugs for solid tumors, especially lung cancer and melanoma, and the target of choice was programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co led in transaction volume.

More than 50% of the immuno-oncology deals between 2012 and 2016 involved testing combinations that may eventually address previously unresponsive patients and/or additional tumor types. Combination agreements are structured differently to traditional licensing deals and are often pre-competitive in nature, early stage, and involve only one or two single studies. There was nearly an even split in terms of how combinations were structured, with just over half consisting of an anti-cancer immunotherapy target with a non-immunotherapy target, and the rest consisting of two anti-cancer immunotherapies. Among the immuno-oncology targets, PD-L1 was most often the backbone in the combination, and was paired up with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor or DNA synthesis or methylase inhibitors more often than with any other target.

Throughout this report, the information on deals and trial collaborations is derived from three main sources: Informa’s Medtrack, Strategic Transactions, and Trialtrove.



11 Immuno-oncology has sparked multiple industry, academic, and government initiatives
12 Bibliography

14 Immuno-oncology deal volume has rapidly increased
15 Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co were the top immuno-oncology dealmakers
16 Immuno-oncology represented most of the overall oncology deal value
23 Solid tumors, especially lung cancer and melanoma, led immuno-oncology deals
26 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma decreasing in overall share of deals
27 PD-L1/PD-1 dominated immuno-oncology deals
29 Immuno-oncology targets vary across indications
30 Bibliography

32 Combinations are the driving force in immuno-oncology deal-making
32 Combination collaborations have unique characteristics
33 Combination collaborations
41 Bibliography

45 AstraZeneca has high hopes for durvalumab in combinations and in hematological cancers
48 Bristol-Myers Squibb deals with setbacks following early lead
53 Celgene is trying to make an impact in hematological cancers
59 GlaxoSmithKline looks to alternative immuno-oncology targets
61 Merck & Co gains key approvals for Keytruda
64 Merck KGaA and Pfizer get approval for fourth PD-L1 entrant Bavencio
66 Roche’s Tecentriq gains the first approval among PD-L1 inhibitors in bladder cancer
68 Bibliography

72 Scope
72 Methodology


8 Figure 1: PD-L1 class sales, 2014–25
11 Figure 2: Number of pipeline anti-cancer immunotherapy drugs, 1995–2016
15 Figure 3: Immuno-oncology deal-making takes off: deals by Big Pharma and Mid Pharma peer sets, 2012–16
16 Figure 4: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co led in immuno-oncology deals during 2012–16
18 Figure 5: Immuno-oncology deal values are growing: Big Pharma and Mid Pharma in- and out-licensing, 2012–16
19 Figure 6: Average immuno-oncology deal values, Big Pharma and Mid Pharma in- and out-licensing, 2012–16
24 Figure 7: Most Big Pharma/Mid Pharma immuno-oncology deals focus on solid tumors, 2012–16
26 Figure 8: Lung cancer and melanoma led Big Pharma/Mid Pharma immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
27 Figure 9: Lung cancer’s share of immuno-oncology deals grew over 2012–16
28 Figure 10: PD-L1/PD-1 dominated Big Pharma/Mid Pharma immuno-oncology deals during 2012–16
29 Figure 11: Shift from CTLA-4 to PD-L1/PD-1: Big Pharma/Mid Pharma immuno-oncology deals by target, 2012–16
30 Figure 12: Immuno-oncology target focus varied across indications, Big Pharma/Mid Pharma deals, 2012–16
34 Figure 13: Big Pharma/Mid Pharma immuno-oncology combination deal volume, 2012–16
35 Figure 14: Proportion of immuno-oncology deal volume involving combinations, 2012–16
36 Figure 15: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co led in immuno-oncology combination collaborations during 2012–16
37 Figure 16: Lung cancer was the top indication among Big Pharma/Mid Pharma combination collaborations during 2012–16
39 Figure 17: PD-L1/PD-1 was the backbone in most combination agreements during 2012–16
40 Figure 18: VEGFR and DNA inhibitors led non-anti-cancer immunotherapy targets used in combinations during 2012–16
41 Figure 19: VEGFR and DNA inhibitors were most often paired with a PD-L1/PD-1 backbone during 2012–16
48 Figure 20: Development status of AstraZeneca’s durvalumab, March 2017
49 Figure 21: Bristol-Myers Squibb retains a leading, but shrinking, market share in the PD-L1 class, 2014–25
63 Figure 22: Catching up to Opdivo – Keytruda sales divide narrows, 2014–25


10 Table 1: Currently approved anti-cancer immunotherapies, March 2017
21 Table 2: Top 10 Big Pharma/Mid Pharma immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
44 Table 3: Key PD-L1 immuno-oncology drugs by indication, March 2017
46 Table 4: AstraZeneca and Celgene’s FUSION program for durvalumab
47 Table 5: Select key AstraZeneca/MedImmune immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
51 Table 6: Beyond Opdivo and Yervoy: Bristol-Myers Squibb’s anti-cancer immunotherapy pipeline, March 2017
53 Table 7: Select key Bristol-Myers Squibb immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
55 Table 8: Celgene’s combination collaborations, 2012–16
59 Table 9: Select key Celgene immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
60 Table 10: OX40 target pipeline, March 2017
61 Table 11: Select key GlaxoSmithKline immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
64 Table 12: Select key Merck & Co immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
66 Table 13: Select Merck KGaA and Pfizer combination collaborations involving Bavencio (avelumab), 2012–16
68 Table 14: Select key Roche/Genentech immuno-oncology deals, 2012–16
73 Table 15: Big Pharma and Mid Pharma peer sets

Published: 19 April 2017
Number of pages: 77
Formats: PDF
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