Big pharmaceutical and smaller biotechnology companies alike are focusing on drug discovery and development of medicines produced by biotechnological processes.
Small molecules are moving to the background in medicine development as the result of a major paradigm shift to biopharmaceuticals. This is reflected by the increasing sales of biopharmaceutical products worldwide.
According to a report by Boston Consulting Group and the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa), sales of biopharmaceuticals in Germany increased to EUR 10.2 billion in 2017 (growth of 10.3 percent compared to 2016). Growth was seen in nearly all fields of application, particularly in drugs treating immunological (e.g. rheumatic) diseases and cancer.
The number of biopharmaceuticals in clinical development increased from 604 in 2014 to 639 in 2017, reflecting continued high investment in the biopharmaceutical pipeline.
In 2017, a record-breaking 51% of all new drug approvals were biopharmaceuticals. By the end of 2017, a total of 274 biopharmaceutical drugs were approved for the German market – more than ever before. Divided into pharmacological classes, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are leading in numbers with 23% each, followed by insulin with 14%.
Number of new drug approvals
© Federal Statistics Office 2018
Biopharmaceuticals Value Growth Rate in Percent
© IMS Health, Boston Consulting Group 2018