Global biotech sales jumped 12.5% in 2007 to $75B

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Global prescription sales of biotech drugs increased 12.5 percent in 2007 to more than $75 billion, according to a new report by IMS Health, a provider of market research to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

The global biotech market grew at nearly double the rate of the global pharmaceutical market, which increased 6.4 percent in 2007.

“The biotech market has expanded dramatically during the past five years, consistently exceeding overall pharmaceutical market growth two- to threefold,” said Murray Aitken, senior vice president of healthcare insight at IMS. “Recent innovations, the continued expansion of approved indications for existing products and the gradual uptake of biotech products outside the U.S. have fueled that growth, and improved the quality of life for millions of patients across a growing number of disease areas.”

During the past five years, the range of biotech products and their use in multiple therapy areas have steadily increased, creating a major source of market growth, IMS said. Twenty-two biotech products generated sales exceeding $1 billion in 2007.

Last year, targeted oncology therapies, auto-immune agents, anti-diabetic agents and pure vaccines represented both the majority of the market and majority of growth, according to the report.

The market research firm said that the U.S. remains the largest market for biotech products, representing 56 percent of total sales last year. Five major European countries have steadily increased their share of this market over the past five years to 24 percent in 2007. Japan’s share of the market has declined slightly, now representing 5 percent of global biotech sales.

IMS expects that, during the next five years, the global biotech market will more closely parallel the traditional pharmaceutical marketplace, reflecting changing industry dynamics.

“After 20 years of what some would call a ‘charmed life,’ biotech is now facing a new reality,” said Aitken, who noted that the biotech market growth last year moderated from the 18.2 percent rate experienced in 2006. “Loss of exclusivity and competition from biosimilars, crowded therapy areas with weaker sales growth, payors showing more reluctance to fund innovative drugs without compelling value propositions and safety concerns for some therapies will all contribute to a more moderate growth environment through 2012. Yet, we expect the biotech sector to remain one of the most robust segments of the marketplace with a continued strong flow of innovative products to the market.”