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Poolbeg confirms $10bn cancer-immunotherapy opportunity

09:47, 12th February 2024
John Hughman
Vox Newswire

Poolbeg Pharma (POLB)Follow | POLB has continued its flying start to 2024, revealing today that independent research suggests the market size for an orally delivered version of its lead drug POLB 001 as a preventative therapy for cancer immunotherapy-Induced CRS could be worth more than $10bn a year.

CRS – or Cytokine Release Syndrome – is a common side effect in the emerging field of cancer immunotherapy, affecting more than 70% of patients. When large numbers of immune cells are activated, such as during an immune response against cancer cells or pathogens, they can release excessive amounts of cytokines, overwhelming the body's normal regulatory mechanisms. Symptoms of CRS can include fever, chills, nausea, fatigue, headache, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, organ dysfunction or failure. 

The cancer immunotherapy market – with treatments already approved for rare and orphan blood cancers - is expected to grow to between $100m and $140bn by 2030, but research suggests the regular occurrence of CRS could cost healthcare systems $5.5bn a year in extended hospitalisation costs. 

Poolbeg’s recently announced promising in vivo results which showed that CRS symptoms were significantly reduced with POLB 001, leaving it on course to address this large unmet market need. In addition, the availability of an orally delivered preventative treatment could accelerate the uptake of cancer immunotherapies, allowing them to be delivered outside of specialist centres where CRS can be managed. 


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The application of POLB 001 to cancer therapies has opened up a huge market opportunity for Poolbeg, alongside the progress it’s been making influenza programme; its AI drug discovery programmes; and oral delivery of GLP-1 for obesity and other metabolic diseases. 

The recent addition of the commercial team behind the previous $1.5bn sale of rare and orphan disease specialist Amryt Pharma to Italy’s Chiesi Farmaceutici last year is also highly encouraging, both in terms of driving rapid revenue growth and delivering long-term value for shareholders. 

The development of treatments for rare and orphan diseases are often supported by regulatory incentives, including reduced filing fees, tax breaks and market exclusivity post approval, and as chief executive Jeremy Skillington puts it, “fit Poolbeg's efficient capital model particularly well.”  

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