In this article, we will take a look at the 15 biggest immunotherapy companies in the world. If you want to see more companies in this selection, go to the 5 Biggest Immunotherapy Companies in the World.
The immunotherapy industry is a rapidly growing field that is focused on developing treatments that harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer and other diseases. Many companies are involved in the immunotherapy industry, ranging from large pharmaceutical companies to small biotechnology startups. These companies are working to create a range of different immunotherapy treatments, including checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T cell therapies, and monoclonal antibodies. According to Markets and Markets, the revenue of the global immunotherapy drugs market was estimated to be $163.0 billion in 2020. It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.0% from 2020 to 2025, reaching a value of $274.6 billion by 2025. The global immunotherapy drugs market is classified based on therapeutic areas into cancer, autoimmune & inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, and other therapeutic areas. Among these, cancer held the largest share of the global immunotherapy drugs market in 2019. The dominance of this segment is attributable to the high incidence of cancer, increasing research efforts in this field, and the provision of reimbursement coverage for oncology immunotherapies.
The size of the global cancer immunotherapy industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1% from $85.6 billion in 2020 to $309.67 billion by 2030, according to Allied Market Research. The National Cancer Institute reported that in 2020, around 1,806,590 new cancer cases were reported in the United States, and 606,520 people died from the disease. Researchers believe that this rise in cancer incidence is expected to drive the growth of the immunotherapy industry in the coming years. In 2020, North America contributed the highest revenue to the cancer immunotherapy market due to increased expenditure on healthcare, a focus on maintaining a top healthcare system, and a rising incidence of cancer worldwide. Asia-Pacific, on the other hand, is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR during 2021-2030, primarily due to a surge in per capita income and an improvement in healthcare infrastructure.
Some of the key players in the immunotherapy industry include Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Roche Holdings AG (ROG.SW), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), and AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN). These companies are investing heavily in research and development (R&D) to bring new immunotherapy treatments to the market. The industry has witnessed significant progress in recent years in developing effective immunotherapies for various diseases. However, there are also challenges in the development of these treatments, including managing potential side effects and ensuring that they are accessible and affordable to patients worldwide.
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
To shortlist the 15 biggest immunotherapy companies in the world, we compiled a comprehensive list of companies that have a significant presence in the immunotherapy industry. This involved considering their involvement in immunotherapy research and development as well as their successful commercialization of immunotherapy products. Various factors such as product pipeline strength, market share, research and development efforts, product innovation, and global reach were considered to evaluate the commercial success of these companies. The companies have been ranked in ascending order based on their market capitalization as of April 28. We have also included the number of hedge fund holders for each of these companies as of Q4 2022.
Biggest Immunotherapy Companies in the World
15. Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB)
Market Capitalization: $40.81 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 75
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company that is working on developing innovative therapies for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. One of Biogen Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) integral immunotherapy programs is formulating therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The company’s flagship MS therapy is called Tysabri, which is a monoclonal antibody that targets a molecule called α4-integrin. Tysabri works by preventing immune cells from crossing the blood-brain barrier, which can help lessen inflammation and damage to the nervous system. Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) is also exploring other immunotherapy approaches for MS, including the creation of therapies that target B cells and other immune cells that are involved in the disease.
“Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) was the leading contributor among several biopharma names, boosted by positive, pivotal clinical data for its next-generation Alzheimer’s treatment Lecanemab. In a pivotal trial, the drug proved safe and efficacious in slowing progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
14. Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA)
Market Capitalization: $52.03 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 52
Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company involved in the development of mRNA-based therapeutics and vaccines. One of Moderna’s immunotherapy programs is focused on developing personalized cancer vaccines. These vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells based on the patient’s unique genetic profile. Moderna, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) personalized cancer vaccines are based on a combination of mRNA technology and machine learning algorithms, which are used to identify the specific mutations in a patient’s tumour that are most likely to provoke an immune response. Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) has already made significant progress in creating mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19, with its mRNA-1273 vaccine gaining mainstream recognition globally.
“Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) became a household name during the pandemic as one of the first developers of a COVID-19 vaccine. But the stock sold off sharply as COVID momentum, including high expectations for booster shots, began to wear off, causing investors to slash its fiscal 2023 earnings estimates by two-thirds over the last year. We believe those downward revisions clouded the prospects for the company’s fully funded pipeline of platform opportunities, including cancer, RSV and flu. The cash-rich company also recently expanded its partnership with Merck to improve cancer treatments.”
13. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (NYSE:TAK)
Market Capitalization: $52.65 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 11
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (NYSE:TAK) is a Tokyo, Japan-based pharmaceutical company developing state-of-the-art therapies for a range of different diseases, including oncology. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (NYSE:TAK) is investing heavily in the development of CAR-T cell therapies, a type of immunotherapy that involves genetically modifying a patient’s T cells to recognize and attack cancer cells. Takeda’s main immunotherapy program is focused on advancing CAR-T cell therapies for various types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma and solid tumours. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (NYSE:TAK) offers an annual forward dividend yield of 3.92% as of April 28.
12. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN)
Market Capitalization: $86.32 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 47
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) is a Tarrytown, New York, biotechnology company that is dedicated to formulating advanced therapies for a range of different diseases, including oncology and autoimmune diseases. One of Regeneron’s crucial immunotherapy programs is concentrated on the advancement of monoclonal antibodies for cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that can be designed to target specific molecules in cancer cells, which can help to stimulate the immune system to attack the cancer cells. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) is working on creating a range of monoclonal antibodies for different types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
“There have been some bright spots in our long book. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN), a major position and a stock we wrote up in our June 2021 letter, has been one of the best performing stocks in the S&P 500 this year. Alas it has not been enough to offset some of our weaker stocks, let alone our overweight exposure to the UK (and Europe) which have suffered from both stock and currency weakness. We do not think we are bad at picking stocks on the long side and hope – reasonably we think – for better relative results in the future. Prior to COVID, our longs were markedly better than the index. Unfortunately, if you look at our long book this quarter and since the onset of the COVID pandemic, there is scant evidence that we have added any value by picking stocks to go long.”
11. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)
Market Capitalization: $107.05 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 64
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is a Foster City, California-based biopharmaceutical company. In a research note issued on February 14, Salim Syed at Mizuho increased the target for Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) stock from $88 to $101 and maintained a Buy rating. The target price reflects a potential upside of over 20.8% from the closing price as of April 28. The analyst increased the target price to incorporate the increase in the company’s estimated peak sales from $19 billion to $20 billion for the HIV business. Meanwhile, the company’s autoimmune disease program is working on making therapies that can help to modulate the immune system and diminish inflammation, with a keen interest in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
“Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD. advanced in the quarter on positive data released in a study evaluating Trodelvy versus comparative chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The detailed findings increased investor confidence the drug would receive incremental approvals for a broader range of breast cancer treatments. Shares also received a boost on news the TAF patent portfolio for HIV drugs will be extended from the middle of this decade through the early 2030s, creating greater visibility into the company’s long-term opportunity in the virology market.”
10. Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)
Market Capitalization: $131.13 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 60
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is a Thousand Oaks, California-based biotechnology company. One of Amgen’s notable immunotherapy programs is focused on the formulation of bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibodies for cancer. Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is creating a range of BiTE antibodies for different types of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumours. Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is also developing therapies for cardiovascular diseases, including PCSK9 inhibitors, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
“Two things are very noticeable right off the top. First, sometimes you have to be happy losing less in a bear market environment so that you have more of your capital to grow in the next bull market. We are never really happy losing money. Second, 2022 is likely to be our third year of existence as a fund to lose money for the year. This year would join 2008 and 2018 in this undistinguished category. Our biggest detractors was dominated by Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN). Consumer/investor fears about media and e-commerce hit WBD and EBAY and profit taking in Amgen came from early 2022 strength.”
9. Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY)
Market Capitalization: $142.81 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 34
Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) is a Paris, France-based biopharmaceutical company working on creating groundbreaking therapies for a range of diseases. One of Sanofi’s integral immunotherapy programs is focused on the growth of checkpoint inhibitors for cancer. Checkpoint inhibitors are designed to block certain proteins in cancer cells that prevent the immune system from attacking them. Sanofi is creating checkpoint inhibitors for a range of different cancers, including lung cancer, melanoma, and bladder cancer. Sanofi’s (NASDAQ:SNY) quarterly business operating income rose by 8.7% to 3.33 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in Q1 2023. The stock offers an annual forward dividend yield of 3.55% as of April 28.
“Health care proved to be the most challenging sector to navigate during the quarter, as several companies were subjected to elevated risk aversion due to possible litigation implications. Two of our top five largest individual detractors for the period were in the health care sector: Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) and Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF). Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical and health care company, saw its share price fall after it was named as a co-defendant in a class action lawsuit alleging that Sanofi and other sellers of the heartburn medication Zantac failed to warn of the drug’s risk of containing a possible carcinogen.”
8. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY)
Market Capitalization: $147.84 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 69
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) is a New York-based biopharmaceutical company. The corporation is exploring the use of various types of immunotherapies for cancer, including cell therapy and gene therapy. Furthermore, to enhance the production of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) is acquiring a former Novartis plant to boost its viral vector production. The newly acquired facility, located in Libertyville, Illinois, will provide the company with in-house viral vector production capabilities for multiple products. BMS is also developing therapies for cardiovascular diseases, including therapies that can help to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) boasts an attractive dividend yield of 3.37% as of April 28.
RGA Investment Advisors shared its stance on Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) in its Q3 2022 investor letter. Here’s what the firm said:
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY), which we referenced above, boasts a double digit free cash flow yield that gets divided roughly equally between repurchases, a dividend and M&A in what is the best environment for acquisitions perhaps ever. In 2019, BMY acquired Celgene, who had one of the better corporate development programs in the industry. We view this as a great outlet for us as generalists considering a company like BMY should truly thrive with the ability to acquire outstanding assets and science at depressed valuations. We touched on the Turning Point acquisition above and we expect the company to be increasingly active in the M&A landscape. Importantly, Celgene also came to BMY with a phenomenal CAR-T platform. CAR-T is a cell therapy that activates the body’s immune system to target cancers. This will be a key growth vector alongside M&A in overcoming the company’s patent cliff.”
7. Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)
Market Capitalization: $220.6 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 22
Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) is a Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company with a strong presence in the area of immunotherapy. The company has a diverse portfolio of immunotherapy programs and has formulated two CAR-T cell therapies, Kymriah and Tecartus, which have been approved for the treatment of several different types of cancer. According to the company’s 2023 earnings call transcript, Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) had an impressive first quarter, characterized by significant sales growth, substantial margin expansion, and a consequent upgrade of the company’s full-year guidance for 2023. Novartis AG’s (NYSE:NVS) sales experienced an increase of 8%, while the core operating income witnessed a 15% rise in constant currencies.
6. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)
Market Capitalization: $221.99 billion
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 75
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is a New York-based biopharmaceutical company with a strong foothold in the immunotherapy industry. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is exploring the use of other types of immunotherapies for cancer, including bispecific antibodies and cell therapies. The company’s bispecific antibody program is focused on creating therapies that can simultaneously target two different proteins in cancer cells, which may help to improve the effectiveness of the therapy. Additionally, the company’s cell therapy program focuses on utilizing T cells to target cancer cells, akin to CAR-T cell therapy. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) offers an annual forward dividend yield of 4.27% as of April 28.
“Also among our bottom contributors were health care products manufacturer Abbott Labs, global pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), media and technology giant Alphabet, and insurance company American International Group (AIG). Although Pfizer continues to report strong performance of its core drugs, sales of its COVID vaccine and treatment have likely peaked and sales are expected to decline going forward. We remain optimistic about the company long term as we believe management is taking the company in the right direction, focusing R&D, and making strategic acquisitions with profits generated from COVID vaccine sales.”
In addition to Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), and AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) are also some of the biggest immunotherapy companies in the world.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Biggest Immunotherapy Companies in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.