Insight journal - Technology

Antibody: recent life science partnering trends

Posted on 02 June 2014

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Antibodies are the subject of numerous partnering deals every year, here we provide a review of recent partnering trends activity.

An antibody, also known as an immunoglobulin, is a large Y-shaped protein produced by B-cells that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses.

According to the Current Agreements life science deals and alliance database, around 900 antibody partnering deals were announced since 2009. The Antibody Partnering Terms and Agreements report provides a detailed understanding and analysis of how and why companies enter antibody partnering deals covering the following types of antibodies:


  • Antibody-drug conjugates
  • Monoclonal antibodies
    • Murine mAb
    • Chimeric mAb
    • Humanized mAb
    • Human aAb
    • Polyclonal Antibodies

The following figure shows antibody partnering frequency between January 2009 and April 2014.

Figure 1: Antibody partnering since 2009








Source: Current Agreements, 2014

Antibody dealmaking has been fairly consistent in dealmaking since 2009 and is continuing to be a popular area for partnering with 42 deals made already during 2014 (up to April).

According to the database Current Agreements, big pharma and big biotech companies are not as active as other pharmaceutical and biotech companies in signing deals involving antibody assets.

However, interest has been growing in recent years where big pharma companies working on oncology drugs partner with biotechnology companies working on monoclonal antibodies. An example to cite here would be the recent deal where Boehringer Ingelheim outlicensed  $2.16 billion in R&D and licensing agreement to Macrogenics  to discover and develop next generation antibody therapeutics.

The following figure shows antibody deal making by antibody technology type. It is observed that the vast majority or deals are made for monoclonal antibodies, specifically humanized mAb and human mAb, showing promise in the development of this emerging technology.

Figure 2: Antibody partnering trends by technology type since 2009









Source: Current Agreements, 2014

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

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

 Figure 3: Top antibody deals by value since 2009










Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The therapy area where biomarker deals are mainly focused around is oncology with around 556 deals signed since 2009.

Other therapeutic focus areas in antibody partnering are in infectives and immunology.

Figure 4: Antibody partnering by therapeutic area since 2009

















Source: Current Agreements, 2014

The recently updated Antibody Partnering Terms and Agreements report published by Current Partnering provides full details of over 900 antibody deals announced since 2009 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

Life sciences industries are banking hugely on the growth of antibody market. With more and more companies merging to enhance development of antibody therapeutics (Eg: Merger between Immune and Epicept), partnering trends are going to see rapid changes in the future.


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:

Shamini Thiagarajan



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

View : glossary definition for antibody

ReportAntibody Partnering Terms and Agreements

Related report: Antibody Deals and Alliances of 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

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

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