The value of the global biosimilars market will grow from just $243 million in 2010 to $3.7 billion in 2015.

That is the assessment of a report from Datamonitor, which notes that more than 30 branded biologics with sales of $51 billion are set to lose patent exclusivity between 2011 and 2015. The market analyst adds that although existing biosimilar players "have the advantage of an established reputation and relationships with key stakeholders", branded pharma companies are "increasingly looking to biosimilars as one route to drive sales going forward, using partnership and M&A deals to achieve their goals".

Brand biologics 'stagnating or declining'

Mark Hollis, healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, says that with the market shares of first-generation biologic drugs "stagnating or declining, biosimilar monoclonal antibodies and second-generation biosimilars represent a high-value proposition for biosimilar manufacturers and key drivers for future growth”.

He goes on to say that despite the introduction of biosimilar approval pathways in the USA, Europe and Japan, the growing use of biologics and the need for more cost-effective treatments, "there remain a large number of barriers to achieving commercial success in developed markets".

The report therefore argues that the future biosimilars market will continue to remain dominated by the existing biosimilars players, with the addition of select branded pharma companies. Datamonitor concludes by saying that makers of copycat biologics in the emerging markets are now looking to expand globally, through partnerships with the majors.