As new breakthroughs are made in the biomedicine sector, growth is also anticipated in the biological drugs market. According to U.S.-based market research firm Persistence Market Research, this market will report a 10% CAGR from 2014 through 2020, and will be worth USD 287.13 billion by 2020.
Segments within the global market
The global biological drugs market can be broadly classified as: vaccines, therapeutic protein, and mAb. The segment of therapeutic proteins can be split into: Avonex, Enbrel, Neulasta, Lantus, NovoLog, Humalog, Aranesp, Rebif, Levemir, Epogen, Victoza, Neupogen, Betaseron, and Eylea. Similarly, the mAb segment can be divided into: Remicade, Humira, Rituxan, Herceptin, Avastin, and Lucentis. And, the segment for vaccines can be sub-segmented as: Cervarix, Gardasil, Varivax, Prevnar 13, and Fluzone.
Global market by geography
The market for biological drugs can be classified and studied on the basis of geographical regions. Thus, the market can be split into: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. By market share, North America emerges as the dominant region. It is followed by Europe and Asia.
In North America, the global market is fuelled by the growing use of such drugs for treating chronic diseases as well as diabetes and cancer. A case in point would be the American College of Rheumatology’s recommendation of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs as well as biologic agents in treating rheumatoid arthritis in 2012. The American College of Rheumatology is an organization dedicated to advancing treatment options for rheumatic conditions via education and research.
In other markets such as Europe, the growth of the market can be ascribed to a spike in the geriatric population. A report by the United Nations states that as of 2000, the elderly comprised 23.2% of the total population of Germany. This percentage could well scale to 33.2% by 2025. Glaucoma and macular degeneration are age-related disorders that create opportunities for the development of treatment options such as drugs.
Where are the investment dollars flowing?
A healthy portion of the total investments by biological drug makers is now being seen in Asian countries. The low manufacturing costs that prevail here, combined with growing transfer of pharmaceutical know-how from the West to the East, will support the growth of the market here. A recent example would be that of Swiss biotech company, Lonza, which invested a reported USD 350 million in two Asian locations – Singapore and India – to advance biological drug-related activities.
Growth drivers and restraints in the market
To a great degree, the worldwide market will also benefit from favorable government policies, leading to potentially higher investments. Within this market, two key emerging trends are that of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF).
On the restraints front, the biggest challenge for companies will be the high costs associated with developing biological drugs. This challenge could be compounded by the impending patent expiry of certain blockbuster drugs. Besides these impediments, there has been some speculation about adverse effects of injectable drugs.
Leading participants in the market are: GlaxoSmithKline plc., Pfizer Inc., Novartis AG, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Inc., and others.