Biopharmaceutics is the fastest-growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry. One in every four marketed drugs is biopharmaceutical. The global antibody therapeutics market alone was worth $16.7 billion in 2008, comprising 400 drugs in clinical trials and 700 in pre-clinical development, and targeting more than 100 diseases. In 2011, sales of biopharmaceutical products exceeded $135 billion.
According to the FDA's Center for Biologics Evolution and Research, the development of biopharmaceuticals is currently inefficient and costly. Each protein molecule is unique, and it requires specific processes of production and purification. Improvements in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals would yield huge savings - as much as 20% of the total cost of goods, or approximately $6 billion per year. To achieve these potential savings, as well as to improve the general quality of our products, a consortium of biopharmaceutical manufacturers, academic centers, agencies and suppliers of equipment and materials has just started.