By Günter Jagschies
This article originally appeared in: the Medicine Maker.
Since the 1990s, antibodies have been the leading category of biotherapeutics (see Figure 1) – both in terms of the development pipeline and the approved range of biotherapeutics. Because of their unique ability to target almost any disease mechanism we can think of, they have a very wide range of medical indications. Using an antibody-based therapeutic also tends to reduce the risk of side effects, improving patient tolerance.
The wide applicability of antibodies has made them a key driver of revenue growth in the biopharma industry (see Figure 2) – today, they still represent over 50 percent of its overall revenue. The majority of antibody treatments currently focus on cancer and autoimmune disease, plus a few rare diseases, such as hemophilia A, as well as a handful of infectious diseases. Growth in the cancer and autoimmune categories is likely to continue – there are a large number of patients in need of treatment and many disease mechanisms to which antibodies can be directed. And this is reflected by biopharma’s R&D portfolio.