What are Biologics?
A biologic is the product of a biological process, of biological origin. Usually, the sources of biologics are cells and tissues. Use of biologics are manifold in research, diagnostic and therapeutic:
- Blood and blood derivatives (clotting factors, serum, polyclonal antibodies, etc.)
- Cellular products (cells, monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, stem cells, progenitor cells, etc.)
- Tissue products (bone, cartilage, skin, cornea, ligaments, valves, oocytes, semen, etc.)
- Gene products
- Allergen extracts
- Recombinants (insulin, EPO, antibodies, vaccines, other hormones, etc.)
- Peptides, Fusion proteins
Biologics have a vast range of applications:
- Reagents in basic and translational research
- Reagents in diagnostics
- Tools in characterisation and validation of drugs
- Carriers of drugs to target sites of intervention
- Importantly, THERAPEUTICS!
Market of Therapeutic Antibodies
There are more than 900 biological therapeutics at various stages of development which include monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, antisense, cells, genes, growth factors, interferons, and recombinant proteins. A third of all new therapeutic drugs are monoclonal antibodies, and the market continues to grow fast. According to estimations in 2013-2014 the global combined annual growth rate of monoclonals is 5.3%. There are over 30 approved therapeutic biological drugs in the US market and these are used in difficult diseases such as breast cancer, leukaemia, asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and transplant rejection.
The global market that includes new markets in Asia is also growing substantially, expected to reach nearly 60 Billion in 2016. This puts a pressure on supply chain and more research for better products and also products that are affordable for the global health market. This supply chain demand should be very important for the biotech and research industries in high growth Asian regions.