What different types of biologic agents are being researched?

The most popular class of biologics currently employed therapeutically are small molecules or proteins such as antibodies, enzymes, or receptor modulators.1 Most biologics research therefore also centers around the identification, development, and production of these agents. The advent of novel genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR has increased the popularity of cell-based biological agents, as it is now easier to modulate cellular genomes to establish a desired phenotype and/or introduce selective targeting. Finally, advancements in directing cellular differentiation, the development of new organic and synthetic scaffolding materials, and improvements in tissue culturing equipment have combined to spur the development of tissue-based biologics – including grafts, transplants, patches, and the like.

(1) M.S. Kinch, “An overview of FDA-approved biologics medicines,” Drug Discov Today, 20(4):393-398, 2015.