Biologic drugs market about to soar

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 11:29 AM

EvaluatePharma, a company providing pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector analysis and consensus forecasts, has released a report titled “Surveying Tomorrow’s BioPharma Landscape: The NASDAQ Biotech Index Up Close,” which shows that the quantity of biologic drugs on the market will likely soar by 2018.

A thorough analysis of companies listed on the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI) revealed that while less than 10% of these companies’ currently marketed products are biologic drugs — pharmaceuticals derived from living organisms — these products comprise a hefty 40% of the companies’ drug pipelines. The report also offers insights into the pipelines of the 117 companies listed on the index, and consensus sales estimates. The analysis points to a growing focus on biologics, including drugs treating cancer, infection and central nervous system diseases.

EvaluatePharma said it developed the report to give investors and the life science community at large a better understanding of the products and trends driving the index. The NASDAQ Biotech Index is cited all around the world, but rarely is there a detailed aggregate analysis of these leading, publicly traded biotechnology companies. This analysis provides insight into today’s products and looks at where this dynamic sector is heading.

Among the report’s key findings, the compound annual sales growth of prescription drugs generated by companies in the NASDAQ Biotech Index is expected to reach 8.3% in the 2011-2018 period — well above the 3.1% forecasted for the wider pharmaceutical industry. Prescription sales from NBI-listed companies are estimated to reach more than $129 billion by 2018, almost double the $74 billion they generated in 2011.

By 2018, the highest-selling drug of any NBI-listed company is expected to be Celgene’s Revlimid — a small molecule compound derived from the controversial 1950s drug thalidomide and approved in 2006 to treat a rare cancer. Revlimid’s sales could top $6.7 billion by then, with Gilead’s newly-acquired phase II Hepatitis C therapy GS-7977 potentially a close second.  

NBI-listed companies have nearly 700 drugs in clinical trials, with 67% of their pipeline focused on cancer, anti-infectives and central nervous system diseases. Biologic drugs make up 42% of the NBI companies’ pipelines, compared with only 8% of their marketed products today.

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