A new report has found that there are more than 2,000 immunotherapy drugs now in development for cancer, with 940 of these in clinical stage development and 1,064 at the preclinical stage.

The report, “Comprehensive Analysis of the Immuno-Oncology Landscape” by the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), is a first-of-its-kind independent analysis of the global immuno-oncology landscape, from agents in pre-clinical development to regulatory approval.

The report says that the significant number of immuotherapy agents in development will likely result in an unparalleled number of advances in the field—but it also creates some challenges.

“This is the first independent analysis that quantifies and confirms the level of excitement and potential of immuno-oncology,” said Aiman Shalabi, CRI’s chief medical officer and director of the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator. “Today, we are incredibly fortunate to see so much progress for patients, and the science will continue to rapidly evolve. By using these landscape data, we aim to better inform the field and find solutions to several meaningful and actionable trends in the current immuno-oncology landscape.”

One area the CRI is closely monitoring is that of the anti-PD-1/L1 agents. There are now 164 agents targeting PD-1/L1, of which 50 are currently in clinical stages with five having already received FDA approval. These 50 agents are being evaluated in 1,502 studies, of which 1,105 are combination trials. Importantly, the analysis found that most of these trials are small, single-center, investigator-initiated trials. The authors propose more multi-center collaboration and the use of innovative study designs such as basket and umbrella platforms to evaluate new combinations and enhance efficiencies across the landscape.

The CRI will make this analysis available online in an interactive format to help inform the broader IO community, allowing it to further accelerate and avoid duplicative research initiatives within the industry.