The battle for the now-hot antibody market is being fought on two fronts: among competing transgenic mouse technologies for human antibody production, and between those mice and older technologies including phage display and antibody humanization.

For the increasingly popular human antibody companies, the challenge is to manage an over-abundance of riches, both in terms of targets and partners, while adding technologies that make the mice even more useful. For humanized antibody developers, the challenge is getting investors to remember that the companies have rich pipelines of products at all stages of development, and that there appears to be no clinical difference between the two types of antibodies.

Of mice and MEDX

Medarex Inc. is looking to strengthen its human antibody technology portfolio. By in-licensing Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd.'s transchromosomic-mice (TC mice), MEDX hopes not only to gain a larger share of human antibody production, but also to more completely displace other antibody approaches.