Antibodies are the protein molecules produced by the immune system and secreted into the blood in response to the presence of foreign body (antigen) such as bacteria, virus, or other foreign parasites. These antibodies inhibit the action of antigen or neutralize its action by binding specifically to the target antigen molecules. Antibody production is based on the in vivo humoral response when foreign antigens are injected into the body. Simple immunizations of foreign molecules, bacteria, viruses or cells may elicit a strong antibody response. By modifying antigen or the host, the immune response can be manipulated. Mainly there are two types of antibodies produced: monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are those produced by identical immune cells that are clones of a unique parent cell whereas polyclonal antibodies are produced from several different immune cells.
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Antibodies are the potent biopharmaceutical agents designed to target certain cells. Presently, many researchers have concentrated their efforts to develop antibodies specific to the antigens present on the cancer cells. These researches have led to the formation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Many copies of such antibodies can be produced in the lab, which can be used against specific antigens on cancer cells. Antibody production has attracted many researchers worldwide owing to its several advantages such as wider therapeutic window, high efficacy to treat certain diseases, and easy development process. Due to these numerous advantages, the market of antibody production is experiencing impressive growth in the global pharmaceuticals and biotechnology market.
Moreover, increasing awareness of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and research laboratories to develop new antibodies that can treat major diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases would drive the market growth. Additionally, large number of antibody drug conjugates under clinical study would further stimulate the market in the near future. However, low number of commercially available antibody drug conjugates coupled with high cost leads to decrease in their uptake restraining the market growth. Moreover, stringent government regulations to market antibody production and high cost of production of antibodies might also hamper the market growth.
Geographically, North America dominates the global antibody production market due to increasing number of research and development activities by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on antibodies. Europe is considered as the second largest market for antibody production owing to the strong presence of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries demanding the development of antibody and antibody drug conjugates for diagnostic and therapeutic purpose. In addition, rising demand of cost effective therapeutic treatment for chronic diseases is the major growth driver in emerging countries of Asia Pacific such as India, China, and South East Asia. Antibody and antibody conjugates enable scientists to develop new and cost-effective therapeutics that can treat cancer which would act as driving factor for this market in Asia-Pacific region.
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Some of the major players competing in the global antibody production market are Abcam plc, Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, GeneTex, Inc., GE Healthcare, Genentech, Merck Millipore, Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. and Roche Diagnostics Corporation.