The global "antibody fragments market" was valued at US$ 15,450.0 Mn 2018 and is expected to reach US$ 29,673.3 Mn 2026, growing at a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period. Antibody fragments market is still at a nascent stage. Most of the antibody fragments research currently done is targeted towards cancer. One of the major factors driving the growth of the antibody fragments market is the increasing prevalence of target diseases. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Globocan), the incidence of cancer is expected to increase from 18.1 million in 2018 to around 22 million by the year 2026.
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Apart from this the advantages of antibody fragments over full-length antibodies are also a major driving factor for the market. Full-length antibodies have a weight of approximately 150 kDa. Antibody fragments have a weight anywhere between 25kDa to 110 kDa, depending on their type. The smaller size of antibody fragments, as compared to the full-length antibodies, facilitates their better penetration into the tumors and therefore, gives better results.
Additionally, the antibody fragments such as Fab, F(ab’)2, scFv, and sdAb lack the Fc region of the antibody and they, therefore, eliminate the risk of non-specific binding between Fc portions of the antibodies and Fc receptors on cells.
However, the stringent regulatory guidelines for the approval of antibody fragments are expected to impede the growth of the market. Antibody fragments are biologics that are strictly regulated by regulatory bodies all over the world. While approving any kind of biologics, both product-related and process-related characteristics of the product are considered while approving the product.
The manufacturing process of antibody fragments includes bacterial or yeast cell cultures as expression mediums. Therefore, the potential bacterial, host cell DNA, host cell protein, residual protein A/L (in case Protein A/L chromatography has been used for purification) contamination can cause serious concerns.