The market for drugs used to treat the side effects of cancer chemotherapy will rocket from a value of $6.3 billion dollars in 2004 to $10.3 billion in 2010, driven by new products from GlaxoSmithKline/Ligand Pharmaceuticals and Amgen.

This is the verdict of a new report by market research and consultancy firm Decision Resources, which expects combined sales of Amgen’s AMG-531 and GSK/Ligand’s SB-497115 of $1 billion and $500 million, respectively, in the treatment of thrombocytopenia caused by cancer treatment.

At present, the marketplace is dominated by companies such as Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, and Roche, which market drugs to treat chemotherapy-related anaemia and neutropenia. These firms will continue to be the major players in the overall sector for drugs to treat haematological side effects, but Amgen and GSK/Ligand will effectively create a new, fast-growing subcategory with their thrombocytopenia treatments.

“AMG-531 and … SB-497115 will revolutionise the thrombocytopenia market as both companies are expected to implement education and marketing campaigns that we predict will produce an eightfold increase in drug-treatment rates for thrombocytopenia, according to the report.

“Many of the physicians we surveyed indicated that thrombocytopenia is almost impossible to treat effectively using current methods," added DR.