ADC: The Next Big Opportunity For Oncology Drugs
By Cliff Mintz, Ph.D., contributing editor
The commercial success of mAb products, such as Rituxan for B cell lymphomas, Erbitux for colon cancer, and Herceptin for breast cancer, has catapulted mAbs to the forefront of modern molecular medicine.
According to a recent report by GBI Research entitled “Monoclonal Antibodies Market to 2017,” the size of the global mAb market was estimated at $16 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to almost $32 billion by 2017.
While engineered mAbs like Rituxan and Herceptin have proven to be effective therapeutic agents, researchers are increasingly evaluating the use of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), or so-called “empowered antibodies,” as potential new treatments for a variety of cancers. But the size of the ADC market is difficult to accurately assess because there is only one approved product on the U.S. market today. Nevertheless, many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies believe that ADCs represent an opportunity in the global oncology market in the not-too-distant future. At present, there are over 20 ADC products in various stages of clinical development at a variety of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.