Five Considerations for Biologics
More and more, biopharmaceutical companies are relying on their
contract manufacturing partners to help them stand out in an
increasingly crowded market.
By Mike Treadaway, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
The pharmaceutical industry has experienced an unprecedented shift over the past five years with the growth of biologics outpacing that of small molecule drugs.
Complex biologics have brought innovative new
treatment options to patients with many chronic
illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's
disease, and certain cancers.
Industry analysts predict that biologics will
continue to experience rapid and transformative
growth as more drug manufacturers tap into their
potential; the QuintilesIMS Institute forecasts that
spending on biologic treatments for autoimmune
diseases will reach $75-90 billion in 2021.
This steady rise in new biologics also is spurring
innovation in drug delivery systems. Biologics
are sophisticated therapies that often have very
specialized containment needs. Many injectable
biologics require higher concentrations for an
effective dose, leading to more viscous drugs and/
or greater dose volumes than small molecule drugs.
Additionally, some biologics can be sensitive to
certain materials used in injectable drug packaging
and delivery systems, such as silicone oil or
tungsten, presenting concerns around possible
interactions between biologics and their container/
closure system. These issues are driving the need
for integrated packaging and delivery systems
that minimize the adverse impact on injectable