Bio drugs to dominate top ten list by 2014

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Small molecule, Pharmacology

Seven of the top ten drugs will be biopharmaceuticals by 2014 according to sector analysts Evaluate Pharma.

The firm said that finding, which is based on industry consensus sales estimates, underlines the growing importance of biopharmaceuticals to the drug industry given that in 2001 only one of the top ten best sellers was a biotech product.

Evaluate predicts that Avastin, made by Swiss firm Roche, will lead the pack with sales of $9.23bn (€6.6bn) a year with Humira, Rituxan, Enbrel, Lantus and Herceptin taking the next five places.

They go on to suggest that Remicade, developed by Schering-Plough and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will be the world’s ninth biggest seller in five years.

Evaluate predicts that by 2014 half of the top 100 drugs will be biotech products, up from 28 per cent last year and just 11 per cent in the year 2000.

Biogenerics rules are a must

While none of the products predicted to dominate the top 10 will match current leader Pfizer’s Lipitor, which earned some $13.5bn last year, the shift towards biotech-derived products does represent a significant therapeutic shift according to Evaluate.

The fact that a biotech product will assume Lipitor's crown in 2012, after the cholesterol-lowering drug phenomenon goes off patent, is indicative of the increasing dominance of biotech products and specifically cancer antibodies​.”

The results mean that the ongoing biogeneircs debate in the US, the world's biggest pharmaceutical market, is of paramount importance for the long-term prosperity of the global drug industry.

Still room for small molecule drugs

Although Evaluate’s data suggests that the high-value end of the drug market will be dominated by biotechnology products, their findings also indicate traditional, small molecule products will still contribute the biggest proportion of global sales.

According to the firm, revenue from biotechnology products will be $169bn by 2014, far outstripped by the $406bn small molecule medicines are expected to generate.

Despite these figures, Evaluate still believes that investment in biotechnology development and manufacturing capacity will be key for the pharma industry going forward.

The weight of evidence for a shift to biotech products as the industry’s growth driver is overwhelming, making the recent moves by Big Pharma to access biotech platforms…all the more compelling​.”

Related topics: Lifecycle Management

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