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Biomarkers: recent life science industry trends

Posted on 11 February 2014

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Recent advances in biomarkers, pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics and companion diagnostics have raised opportunities in the emerging field of personalized medicine.

biomarker, or biological marker, is an indicator of a biological state, or disease state as in medicinal use. Biomarkers are increasingly the topic of partnering and collaboration deals in the life sciences sector.

According to the Current Agreements life science deals and alliance database, around 174 biomarker partnering deals were made in 2010 alone.

The following figure shows biomarker partnering frequency since 2007 to early 2014.

Figure 1: Biomarkers partnering since 2007









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

It is clearly evident that partnering activity has increased significantly since 2010 alone and is slowly gaining popularity.

According to the database Current Agreements, big pharma companies are not as active as diagnostic or biotechnology companies in signing deals involving biomarker assets. However, interest has been growing in recent years where big pharma companies working on oncology drugs partner with biotechnology companies working on biomarkers. An example to cite here would be the recent deal where Eisai pledged $200 million in research funding to H3 Biomedicine to develop biomarkers for oncology treatments.

The following figure shows biomarkers deal making by stage of development. It is observed that the vast majority or deals are made at the discovery stage showing promise in the development of this emerging technology.

 Figure 2: Biomarkers partnering by stage of development since 2007









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

As an emerging and exciting area for therapeutic intervention, biomarkers deal making can have a high headline deal value.

The following figure shows the leading biomarker deals by headline value of the deal when announced between 2009 and 2014.

 Figure 3: Top biomarker deals by value since 2007









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The therapy area where biomarker deals are mainly focused around is oncology with around 519 deals signed since 2007.

Other therapeutic focus areas in biomarkers partnering are in cardiovascular, CNS and psychiatry.

Figure 4: Biomarkers partnering by therapeutic area since 2007

















Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The Biomarkers Partnering Terms and Agreements report published by Current Partnering provides full details of over 1000 biomarkers deals announced since 2007 and includes average deal terms including headline, upfront, milestone and royalty rates, where available. In addition, the report provides details of deals broken down by deal type, stage of development, company A-Z and technology type. More details here

There is a huge expectation in the advancement and development of biomarkers as it shows promise in personalized treatment. It would be interesting to witness the deal making activity and trends in this sector in the coming years.


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:

Shamini Thiagarajan



Read: more biomarker  deals in pharma, biotech, life science partnering deal news, insights and glossary

View: glossary definition for biomarker

Report: Personalized Medicine Partnering Terms and Agreements

ReportCompanion Diagnostics Partnering Terms and Agreements

Related report: Biomarker Partnering Yearbook 2013

View also: Other technology type reports

View: Current Partnering’s Partnering Scorecard – view top life science partnering deals by value

View: Current Partnering’s Deal Metrics – the latest deal trend infographics for life science deal making

View: Current Partnering’s Big Pharma Deal Making Scorecard – latest trends in big pharma deal making activity

View: Current Partnering’s Big Biotech Deal Making Scorecard – latest trends in big biotech deal making activity

Signup: Current Partnering Dealmakers Update – weekly newsletter providing the latest life science industry deal news, deal making trends, partnering events – sign up now

Signup: Current Agreements Deals Review – monthly newsletter - reviewing the previous month’s life science deal making – partnering, M&A and financing – sign up now

Subscribe: Current Agreements life sciences partnering, M&A and financing deals database – find out more

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