CPhI Worldwide announced the findings of its Pharma Insights report on R&D, which showed that the R&D market has become increasingly diverse with growing partnerships (75%), mergers (20%), and out/in-licensing of technology (55% and 60%). Improvements in evaluation have also been credited with helping the sector grow 8%, with long-term objectives now being considered at earlier stages within the development process.
The report says the industry is evolving its model by maintaining new output while also standardizing approaches to measuring effectiveness, especially regarding returns on investment, with 40% using QbD for analytical and tech, 18% using 6 Sigma, 15% using stage gate, and 12% using lean techniques.
In addition, moving between clinical stages and balancing long and short-term goals was seen as a major challenge (53%). Improving efficiency (38%) also highlighted the growing efforts to improve ROI between stages. As a result, companies are involving the commercial side at an earlier stage, with 30% beginning in preclinical and 30% prior to Phase III.
Almost a quarter of respondents sighted cancer as a major focus area for 2014, with antibiotics (13%), cardiovascular (12%), and CNS (12%). Additional evidence for the cancer-focus also emerged from new aspects companies are working on, with 37% researching combination drugs and 20% personalized medicines. Outside of cancer, drug delivery mechanisms are targeted, as 17%were investing in nanotechnology and 12% in drug devices.
Overall, according to CPhI, a major factor in competitiveness both now and in the future is access to technology, which has resulted in amore collaborative approach, including cross-pollination of projects, where even the smallest biotech can access technology that enables them to move projects forward. This need for access to new techniques and technologies revealed that 33% of respondents were partnering with research institutes, 15% with research-focused companies, and 10% with universities.
Source: CPhI Worldwide