Monoclonal antibodies remain one of the most attractive investment areas in the biopharmaceutical industry.
The market for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies reached $40bn in 2009 and is expected to grow to $60bn by 2014, according to estimates by DataMonitor. Five of the top ten drugs sold in the world are monoclonal antibodies, and eight monoclonal antibodies have each reached $1bn in annual sales.
Monoclonal antibodies have a 50% higher development success rate compared to small molecules, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
Monoclonal antibodies have a faster clinical development and regulatory review, 6 years from IND to approval.
Antibody technology continues to offer opportunities for distinctive innovation and continued reduction in manufacturing costs.
The recent US Healthcare Law provided a minimum of 12 year marketing exclusivity for biologic drugs. While there is still a lack of consensus regarding biosimilars, the industry seems to favor “biobetters”, a new generation of biologics with improved performance.
There are currently only about 10 independent antibody companies that are publicly listed or with significant Venture Capital backing. As a result demand exceeds supply, and monoclonal antibody innovators are being rewarded by rich partnership transactions and higher public market and M&A exit valuations.