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Targeted cancer drugs to overtake chemotherapy as top-seller

Targeted cancer therapies, like Novartis AG's top-selling Gleevec, will replace chemotherapy as the most-sold cancer drugs, market researcher Datamonitor said. Targeted therapies will cut into chemotherapy's market share, which was almost half of the $20 billion cancer drug market last year, and grow to about 55% of top 20 cancer drug sales by 2015, Datamonitor said in an e-mailed statement. Medicines including Bayer AG's Nexavar, Pfizer Inc.'s Sutent, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s Sprycel and Amgen Inc.'s panitumumab „all show great potential for the future treatment of cancer,” Fleur Pijpers, an oncology analyst with Datamonitor, said in the statement. Targeted therapies don't tax cancer patients as severely as conventional chemotherapy because they can distinguish cancer cells from normal cells, while chemotherapy attacks all growing cells, even healthy ones. Datamonitor analyzed 37 drugs in the UK, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. The total drug market is expected to peak at $31 billion in 2010, then drop to $27 billion, Datamonitor said. Sales of antihormonal therapies, which now have a market share of 25%, will drop as patents run out and generic competitors arrive on the market. (Bloomberg)