If 2007 was the year pharma woke up to biotech, then 2008 will be time for brunch. Drug makers will continue to serve themselves from the biologics buffet, whether by gobbling up entire companies or by snacking on a bit of this candidate and a bit of that one through licensing deals. Plus, back in the R&D kitchen, Big Pharma is working on its own biotech recipes, though none of them are likely to be ready for sampling yet.
There's one potential wrinkle in the tablecloth, though: Reportedly, "momentum is building" for a new FDA pathway for generic biologic drugs (biosimilars). In June, a Senate committee approved legislation that would open that door; now, the House is preparing to consider a similar bill. And biosimilars already are taking hold in Europe. Last week, regulators approved a copycat form of Epogen, the blockbuster anemia drug made by biotech big wheel Amgen.