BASEL—Life science company Lonza Group announced it granted a non-exclusive worldwide license to Brussels-based biopharmaceutical firm UCB for its GS Gene Expression System. The current license covers the use of the platform for R&D purposes, but the agreement also carries an option to license the system for commercial purposes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The platform is used in the production of therapeutic recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies, markets that have grown significantly in recent years as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies strive to improve the safety profiles of their products.
According to a 2006 report by Kalorama Information, the global market for protein therapeutics in 2005 was $51 billion and it is expected to reach $87 billion by 2010. A similar 2005 report by Frost & Sullivan described the therapeutic monoclonal antibody market at $8.7 billion in 2005, surpassing $16 billion by 2012.
"Protein therapeutics are revolutionizing modern medicine and showing no signs of slowing up," notes Steven Heffner, Kalorama publisher. "With little threat from generics due to the specialized manufacturing of cell lines and strong process controls, strong product innovation, and the premium pricing afforded to them due to their high-tech ingredient profiles and the diseases they target, we are witnessing a pharmacological wonder where everyone—including consumers—is a winner."