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In this 12th annual installment of the Antibodies to Watch article series, we discuss key events in antibody therapeutics development that occurred in 2020 and forecast events that might occur in 2021. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic posed an array of challenges and opportunities to the healthcare system in 2020, and it will continue to do so in 2021. Remarkably, by late November 2020, two anti-SARS-CoV antibody products, bamlanivimab and the casirivimab and imdevimab cocktail, were authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the repurposed antibodies levilimab and itolizumab had been registered for emergency use as treatments for COVID-19 in Russia and India, respectively.
Despite the pandemic, 10 antibody therapeutics had been granted first approval in the US or EU in 2020, as of November, and 2 more (tanezumab and margetuximab) may be granted approvals in December 2020.* In addition, prolgolimab and olokizumab had been granted first approvals in Russia and cetuximab saratolacan sodium was first approved in Japan.
The number of approvals in 2021 may set a record, as marketing applications for 16 investigational antibody therapeutics are already undergoing regulatory review by either the FDA or the European Medicines Agency. Of these 16 mAbs, 11 are possible treatments for non-cancer indications and 5 are potential treatments for cancer.
Based on the information publicly available as of November 2020, 44 antibody therapeutics are in late-stage clinical studies for non-cancer indications, including 6 for COVID-19, and marketing applications for at least 6 (leronlimab, tezepelumab, faricimab, ligelizumab, garetosmab, and fasinumab) are planned in 2021. In addition, 44 antibody therapeutics are in late-stage clinical studies for cancer indications. Of these 44, marketing application submissions for 13 may be submitted by the end of 2021.
*Note added in proof on key events announced during December 1-21, 2020: margetuximab-cmkb and ansuvimab-zykl were approved by FDA on December 16 and 21, 2020, respectively; biologics license applications were submitted for ublituximab and amivantamab.
Keep up to date on US and EU approvals all year by visiting our website!
The Antibody Society maintains a comprehensive table of approved monoclonal antibody therapeutics and those in regulatory review in the EU or US. The table, which is located in the Web Resources section of the Society’s website, can be downloaded in Excel format.