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The combined spend on research and development (R&D) for the peer group of 35 mid-cap biotech companies increased by nearly US $2 billion to reach a total of $9.7 billion in 2014, primarily thanks to top spenders Regeneron and Vertex, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company's report states that Regeneron led the way with R&D expenses of US $860 million in 2013, with further analysis showing that Regeneron's R&D expenses grew by 47.9 percent year-to-year to $1.3 billion in 2014.
According to Mr Adam Dion, GlobalData's senior industry analyst, this expenditure was boosted by an increase in clinical trial expenses, due to additional costs for studies of dupilumab, and REGN-1033, the company's antibody to myostatin (GDF8), which is in Phase II trials for undisclosed musculoskeletal disorders.
Mr Dion commented: "Regeneron's R&D expenses also grew due to the fees for the regulatory submissions and marketing approvals for Eylea, which GlobalData forecasts to be the top-selling eye drug by 2016.
"However, Regeneron's overall R&D cost burden was partly offset by the conclusion of the phase III trials of Eylea in wet age-related macular degeneration and macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion."