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Next generation antibody therapeutics, an industry oversight

Since the introduction of the first therapeutic monoclonal antibody product in the 1980’s, antibodies are now dominating the biopharmaceutical market and are the fastest growing class of therapeutics.

It has been predicted that the sales of monoclonal antibody products will be close to circa $94 Billion by 2017 (Ecker et al., 2014). There are now many companies focusing on the development of next-generation antibody therapeutics and interest from global pharmaceutical companies is clear in their acquisition of these technologies.

What are some of the key factors that are driving the demand for next-generation antibody based therapeutics? At present North America, followed by Europe, currently has the largest share in the next generation antibody therapeutics global market (Persistence Market Research 2014). In part, this is as a result of increased research into drug development, technological advancements and investment into healthcare expenditure. It is predicted that countries in Asia, such as India and China, will follow suit as a result of growing economies, and a greater demand for biological drugs for chronic diseases.

Companies developing second-generation platforms are driven in the market by the belief that their platforms and products will be superior to first generation biologics. There are a variety of attributes that companies are looking for their products to demonstrate. For example, some companies are looking to develop products with increased potency, whilst others focus on cheaper production costs.

In terms of technological advancement, bispecific antibodies have been identified as one of the stand out areas to watch. The current pipeline for bispecific antibody drugs is rich and diverse. Well-known technology platforms include Nanobody (Ablynx), DART (MacroGenics) and TandAb (Affimed) (PRNewsWire, 2014). The fact that fourteen partnership deals for bispecific antibody development were agreed in 2014 alone certainly highlights interest from pharmaceutical companies in this area (PRNewsWire, 2014). Increased venture capital will no doubt support growth in this market, and there is also ample opportunity for contract manufacturing companies to assist development.

Another potential factor driving growth could be that next-generation antibody therapeutics present exciting opportunities for collaborative research within academia and industry. In the global market it has been noted that increased numbers of collaborations, and a rise in mergers and acquisitions are contributing to growth. Recently, Roche acquired the bispecific antibody developer Dutalys so that they could strengthen their capabilities in this field (BioPharm International, 2014). Many key players in the industry are also forming collaborations in order to share resources and to increase speed and quality of research.

As with most areas of drug development there are challenges that lie ahead. Companies within the industry have strict government regulations and huge development costs to contend with. Furthermore, they will need to invest heavily in the discovery of new disease targets and the development of more robust bioprocessing operations (Elvin et al., 2014).Despite these challenges and perceived road-blocks, I believe the outlook for the next-generation antibody market to be one of technological advancement and growth. The science behind therapeutic antibodies is developing vastly each year and there are currently many products in the pipeline.

If you are a scientific professional looking for a new opportunity within this market, or a potential client who is looking to add to their team, please feel free to get in touch with myself for a consultative discussion on 0121 616 3465 or


D.M. Ecker, S.D. Jones, H.L. Levine. The therapeutic monoclonal antibody market mAbs (2014) (advanced online publication).

Next-Generation Antibody Therapeutics Market – Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020;—Global-Industry-Analysis-and-Forecast-to-2020/ ; (2014) [Date Accessed: 1/5/15].


Bispecific Antibody Therapeutics Market (2nd Edition), 2014-2024; (2014) [Date Accessed 1/5/15].


J.G. Elvin, G.C. Ruairidh, F. Van der Walle. Christopher. Therapeutic antibodies: Market considerations, disease targets and bioprocessing. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. Volume 440, Issue 1, 2 January 2013, Pages 83–98.


Roche Acquires Bispecific Antibody Developer Dutalys; [Date Accessed: 3/5/15].

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11th June

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