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CPhI’s post-pandemic report predicts strong progression in pharma innovation, with breakthroughs in multi-modal disease therapies, a transformative effect of mRNA platforms, and significant growth in contract services.
In CPhI’s post-pandemic report, it has been predicted that there will be strong progression in pharma innovation, with breakthroughs in multi-modal disease therapies anticipated during the next five years, a transformative effect of messenger RNA (mRNA) platforms, and significant growth in contract services due to a rise in investigational new drug applications (INDs).
Three experts were involved in a roundtable discussion providing innovator perspectives on post-pandemic trends. The experts involved in the discussion were Valdas Jurkauskas, vice-president, Technical Operations at Black Diamond Therapeutic, Bikash Chatterjee, CEO for Pharmatech Associates, and Parrish Galliher, managing director, BioProcess Technology Group, a division of BDO USA.
Jurkauskas forecasted an increase in demand for contract services from Phase I to Phase II, thanks to the surge in INDs being submitted with FDA. “First, if we look at the numbers of studies, they are significantly higher than what we’ve seen before,” he said in a March 10, 2021 press release. “Secondly, in 2020, accelerated development became the new norm for pharma. So, we now see large volumes of studies and the majority of them are on accelerated regulatory pathways … With accelerated pathways, you get a massive jump in scale because there is this aspiration to file an application in Phase II. Therefore, the increase of services demand is very rapid from Phase I to Phase II.”
Over the next four to five years, Chatterjee stated that the release of drug therapies for a multi-modal disease state, which are notoriously difficult to gain traction on. Additionally, he raised the application of artificial intelligence (AI) as a catalyst for innovation in the future and stressed the more immediate impact of automation on manufacturing in the discussion.
Although Galliher predicted a potential for record levels of development should all the relevant factors come together suitably, he also warned of the strain on contract development and manufacturing organization capacity with biotechs potentially needing to look for alternative manufacturing strategies to progress targets. “What we now hear is a lot of activity around building your own capacity versus outsourcing, with biotech exploring building first early stage and then later stage manufacturing facilities. Understandably, that has resulted in a re-examination of the economics of plants and what types of facilities are best,” he added in the press release. “Obviously single-use becomes very attractive as a less expensive initial option.”
“These findings are hugely exciting for CPhI audiences—both exhibitors and visitors—and we are hosting the online event CPhI Discover in May with the specific goal of helping our communities meet, source, partner, and discover,” stated Nicola Souden, brand manager at Informa Markets, in the press release. “This will be crucial in sustaining industry growth and bringing increasing numbers of therapies to patients … Despite the challenges of the pandemic era, industry-wide partnering and collaboration is flourishing, and it is a dynamic time with potential record levels of growth and innovation expected in the medium term.”