October 17, 2013 I Undoubtedly, antibodies are a hot area for biotech and pharma companies. Development of antibody therapeutics not only seems to have a lower attrition rate than that of small molecules (at least for toxicity reasons), but antibody products are extremely commercially successful. No wonder, that many companies are „jumping on the wagon" of antibodies. However, only a fraction of the companies is working on antibody molecules directed against new targets. Many, if not the majority is focused on improving antibodies directed against validated and commercially successful targets or directly developing biosimilar versions. Risk aversion cannot be the only reason, but availability of new targets for antibodies seems to be a major bottleneck for industry.
One reason might be that target discovery so far has been focused on extracellular targets (proteins, carbohydrates, glycolipids), because intracellular targets are „not accessable" for antibodies. However, intracellular tumor-associated proteins make out more than 80% of potential cancer drug targets. One company recently has raised considerable interest when it closed within a short periof of time two significant deals with Big Pharma/Biotech companies for intracellular targets and T-cell receptor (TCR) based therapeutics in the field of cancer and viral diseases. This seems to be a kind of proof-of-concept for the attractiveness of the T-Cell Receptor for biopharmaceutical industry.
In light of the potential breakthrough character of the TCR technology, La Merie Publishing has performed a comparative analysis and assessment of TCR technologies, pipelines and companies from an industry perspective. The report can be found in our online store at http://pipelinereview.com/index.php/therapeuticarea/oncology/the-engineered-t-cell-receptor-in-fusion-proteins-antibodies-cells-emerging-opportunities-for-the-biopharmaceutical-industry-detail .