The global market for monoclonal antibody therapeutics reached a total of $11.2 billion in 2004, with an impressive 42% growth rate over the previous five years and is expected to reach ∼$34 billion by 2010. Coupled with this growth are stream-lined product development, production scale-up and regulatory approval processes for the highly conserved antibody structure. While only one of the 21 current FDA-approved antibodies, and one of the 38 products in advanced clinical trials target infectious diseases, there is increasing academic, government and commercial interest in this area. Synagis, an antibody neutralizing respiratory syncitial virus (RSV), garnered impressive sales of $1.1 billion in 2006 in spite of its high cost and undocumented effects on viral titres in human patients. The success of anti-RSV passive immunization has motivated the continued development of anti-infectives to treat a number of other infectious diseases, including those mediated by viruses, toxins and bacterial/ fungal cells. Concurrently, advances in antibody technology suggest that cocktails of several monoclonal antibodies with unique epitope specificity or single monoclonal antibodies with broad serotype specificity may be the most successful format. Recent patents and patent applications in these areas will be discussed as predictors of future anti-infective therapeutics.
Keywords: Antibody engineering, passive immunization, neutralizing antibody, immune sera, RSV, anti-toxin, botulism, clostridia, anthrax, polyclonal
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