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Cell Therapy in the Asia Pacific

Cell Therapy in the Asia Pacific

Will this be a Solution to the Cancer Challenge?

Ajay Sanganeria

Partner, Head of Tax

KPMG in Singapore


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Over the next decade, an estimated US$2 trillion investment into Universal Health Coverage (UHC) schemes is expected to land in Asia. While some emerging markets in Asia continue to grapple with lingering infection control, all are shifting focus to the more advanced lifestyle diseases. Cancer is clearly a top priority – it’s the second-highest cause of death globally. And cancer is not standalone; infections such as Hepatitis and HPV are responsible for up to 25% of cancer cases. Cancer drugs represent one-third of the top 15 best-sellers, with a forecasted 10.9% CAGR leading up to 2030.

As more innovative and curative therapies for cancer become available, questions arise about the access and affordability in a UHC-driven geography like Asia. Traditional Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) may not be quite fit-for-purpose. Chimeric Antigen Receptor T, or CAR-T, is one such example. Advances in genetic engineering combined with an improved understanding of “T” cells have led to the design of synthetic tumor targeting receptors which, when introduced into the human body, begin to act as a form of immunotherapy. This is currently considered a last-line treatment option for physicians, but the results of CAR-T are impressive and give new hope to patients and their families. Efficacy evidence is still being gathered with more clinical trials underway, so it is for this reason that some of the product launches to date have been under outcomes-based pricing arrangements.

In this article, we share our experience about enabling the launch of CAR-T in the region, including assistance with the pricing, manufacturing, and data in three main markets – Australia, China, and Japan.

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