ADC Risk Vs. Payoff for CMO Industry

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PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-03-02-2016, Volume 11, Issue 3

PharmSource report addresses how the opportunity for antibody drug conjugates measures up to the bio/pharma industry’s expectations.

A new study reports that bio/pharmaceutical contract manufacturers (CMOs) are placing big bets on antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), but the technology has yet to prove itself in the commercial market. While CMOs can currently profit by serving the need for clinical trial materials, the commercial payoff is still years away.

The report from PharmSource, ADC Market Opportunity for CMOs, analyzes the ADC pipeline, technology developments, and service provider network, and assesses the adequacy of the supply base to serve projected industry demand. It also takes examines the risks facing CMOs addressing the ADC market.

While some CMOs have entered the ADC market, the report researchers found that only one of the 51 ADC candidates in the clinical pipeline has made it to Phase 3 and eight to Phase 2.

The outlook for new ADC approvals is clouded by the limited clinical and commercial track record of ADCs, the early nature of the clinical development pipeline, and the relative immaturity of the technology, said Jim Miller, president of PharmSource and co-author of the report. “Nearly all companies developing ADCs will depend on CMOs for the cytotoxic payload, conjugation and cytotoxic fill/finish,” he said. “Given the immaturity of ADC technology and uncertainty of clinical and commercial success, it is not surprising that the only two approved ADCs are manufactured with heavy dependence on CMOs.”


The report includes data for evaluating the ADC market opportunity and explains the dilemmas faced by the CMO industry; there is an opportunity to ascend the value chain, yet ADC technology and business challenges create uncertainties that must be understood.

Source: PharmSource