Biopharmaceutical products, such as monoclonal antibodies, are on the rise! Biopharmaceuticals currently account for 25% of the total pharmaceutical market and monoclonal antibodies are the fastest growing class of therapeutics. Their success is driven by their efficacy in disease areas with a high unmet medical need such as oncology and autoimmune diseases. Over 350 biopharmaceuticals have already been approved and today there are thousands of products in clinical development. In addition to these new molecules, the first generation of biosimilars is now also emerging, with the patent protection for the pioneering products coming to an end.
We spoke to Koen Sandra, Scientific Director of the Research Institute for Chromatography (RIC), about the specific analytical challenges the biopharmaceutical field faces. RIC, with offices in Kortrijk (Belgium) and Lyon (France), is a prominent service provider in chromatographic and mass spectrometric analysis. Founded by Professor Pat Sandra in the 1980s, the company has grown to over 40 employees. It provides analytical support to different industries such as the food, environmental, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences sector. In recent years, RIC has seen a remarkable rise in the demand for biopharmaceutical analyses.