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Innovations in Oncology 2024

Global trends analysis on emerging oncology therapy R&D and innovation

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Gwynne Morley

Chair, HealthTech Ireland

Global oncology R&D and innovation continue to expand, introducing therapies for advanced cancers and leading pharmaceutical science development.

According to research by IQVIA, in 2023, 25 oncology novel active substances (NASs) were launched globally, contributing to a total of 192 since 2014. Emerging biopharma companies were responsible for 60% of the oncology trials in 2023, up from 33% a decade ago.1

Advances in oncology therapies

More than 2,000 new oncology clinical trials started in 2023 with novel modalities and significant promise for cancer treatment, including cell and gene therapies, antibody-drug conjugates, multispecific antibodies and radioligand therapies.1 Over 250 trials testing CAR T-cell therapies in oncology started in 2023, with a growing number across solid tumours.1

Real-world data is increasingly used to support evidence generation and regulatory decisions.

Driven by the success of Covid-19 vaccines, development of mRNA vaccines for cancer has more than doubled since 2017, with focus on solid tumours.2 Globally, the number of cancer treatments have increased 9% annually since 20191. However, the distribution of novel cancer therapies is uneven across countries, influenced by variations in biomarker testing rates, adoption of new therapies and infrastructure capacity.

Digital health accelerating oncology care

Telemedicine, mobile apps, wearable devices, AI-powered diagnostic tools and voice-interface systems have become more prevalent in patient care and clinical research. Moreover, demand for high-quality, real-world data (RWD) in oncology is increasing due to the precise characterisation of disease types, which has led to more targeted treatments but also challenges in clinical trial recruitment for niche populations. While randomised controlled trials remain the gold standard, RWD is increasingly used to support evidence generation and regulatory decisions.

Expanding healthcare data and access

The big data landscape in healthcare is rapidly expanding, with electronic health record (EHR) systems contributing to a forecasted 36% compound annual growth rate of health-related data volume through 2025.3 The European Health Data Space (EHDS), agreed upon by the European Parliament and Council in March 2024, will facilitate the reuse of health data for secondary purposes, such as oncology research and innovation, empowering cancer patients with greater access and control over their data.

HealthTech Ireland is an independent trade association for manufacturers, developers and distributors of health technology products and solutions to the health system in Ireland.

IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. IQVIA Connected Intelligence™ delivers powerful insights with speed and agility — enabling customers to accelerate the clinical development and commercialisation of innovative medical treatments.

To learn more, visit

Global Oncology Trends 2024: Outlook to 2028 – IQVIA
[2] IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. Global Oncology Trends 2023. Outlook to 2027.
[3] Coughlin et al. Internal Medicine Journal article “Looking to tomorrow’s healthcare today: A participatory health perspective’. IDC White Paper, Doc# US44413318, November 2018: The Digitization of the World – From Edge to Core.

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