The global biosimilars market is continuing to grow as it changes the face of medical science, according to a number of new reports.

Those working in the field argue that the growth can be attributed to the many benefits of using biosimilars, which are the follow-on versions of original biological medicines that are separately developed after the patent protecting the original product has expired. Biosimilars are designed to treat the same diseases as the original product but, although they have many similarities, they are not identical.

Research by analysts Technavio forecast that the global market will grow by 55.52% during the period 2016-2020 with reasons including the rise in the number of patents expiring. Similar trends are acknowledged in another report, this time by Grand View Research in America, whose researchers also cite the importance of a number of major biological drugs nearing the end of their patents.

They says that other advantages include the lower cost of the drugs as compared to patented biologics, the increasing demand to reduce healthcare costs across the world and favourable outcomes in clinical trials for a range of drugs. Grand View estimate that, in 2015, Europe accounted for the largest market share of the global biosimilars market, followed by Asia Pacific.

Indeed, the European market is the most advanced as it has been, according to the researchers, who say that is because Europe was the first to formulate a regulatory pathway and adopt the use of biosimilars more than eight years ago. Germany accounts for the maximum share followed by the UK, France, Spain, and Italy. North America is anticipated to be the fastest growing market over the next eight years with the Asia Pacific market expected to witness a lucrative growth as well with India and China leading the way.