Insight journal - Technology, Insight journal - Therapy

Current deal trends and prospects in therapeutic antibodies

Posted on 08 April 2013

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As a therapeutic, monoclonal antibodies are coming of age in that innovative companies have been persistent in improving upon an already effective therapeutic development strategy.

Dealmaking in the antibody sector remains buoyant despite the impact of the downturn felt by other sectors.

BY IORDANIS ARZIMANOGLOU WITH SUZANNE ELVIDGE

Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are big business. In 2012, there were 5 antibodies in the top 20 drugs by sales, and at least 8 are forecast to enter the market per year.

This will drive the global market from approximately $44 billion in 2011 to nearly $58 billion in 2016. An active pipeline feeds this growth; for example, in January 2013 there were 302 companies plus partners developing 591 antibody drugs in 1,377 developmental projects in cancer.

The market potential of these drugs makes therapeutic antibodies a very attractive target for biopharmaceutical dealmaking, especially as a number have achieved blockbuster status (annual global sales exceeding $1 billion). Licensing deals are vital to keep licensors' funding streams buoyant and to ensure that licensees' pipelines are filled.

Demonstrating the latter need, an analysis of drug sales between 2008 and 2013 (estimated figures) from 14 large pharmaceutical companies showed that less than half of the income from drugs with forecasted sales of at least $500 million came from products that were discovered and developed entirely in-house .

Doing the deal: number of monoclonal antibodies deals

According to the Current Agreements deals database, the number of deals overall relating to antibodies has remained steady over the past six years.

The consistency, despite the vagaries of the economic climate, confirms the importance of monoclonal antibodies as a therapeutic approach. Most of these deals are unspecific and only describe the subject of the deal as antibodies or mAbs.

However, of these deals, 11% each are for humanized and human antibodies, with just 2% each for murine and chimeric antibodies.

"This suggests that chimeric and murine types can be considered as outdated technology for human therapeutics," said Steve Poile, CEO of Current Partnering.

Read the full article at Biopharmadealmakers

Suzanne Elvidge is an experienced industry writer - see Pharmawrite

 

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