R&D to Manufacturing

Evolution of disease treatments

As they target new types of diseases in specialist areas such as oncology and diabetes, the pharma companies are investing in innovative treatments to address these unmet clinical needs.

According to IMS health, in 2014, the amount spent on innovating new medicines is more that the amount spent on brands associated with new generic entrants. The global spending on medicines was US$373.9 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach US$1.3 trillion by 2018. Spending on specialty medicines increased US$54 billion over the past five years, contributing 73 per cent of overall medicine spending growth in 2014. The emerging markets, biologics and generics markets are expected to see more spending.

Over the past decade, patent expiries of many small molecule drugs have restricted the spending on traditional drugs and with new diseases being affected, the R&D pipeline has shifted to speciality products. This transformation allowed ten new breakthrough therapies entered the market in 2014, designated by the FDA under the 2012 FDA Safety and Innovation Act and largest number of orphan drugs launched in 2014 including one drug for cancer treatment and nine ‘ultra-orphan’ drugs. This trend allows mid-sized pharmaceutical companies to compete with large pharmaceutical players.

Countries like US, Japan and EU5 (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and UK) will contribute more for growth in the coming future. Pharmerging markets (Brazil, India, Turkey, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and China) will continue to show increased growth.

Increasing burden of chronic diseases and demand for speciality drugs and patent expiries continue to be challenges for the industry. At the same time, ensuring the accessibility of medicines and treatments for all the patients required through the universal health coverage will drive the industry. Future of the pharmaceutical industry is expected to be moderate with a key role of speciality products dwelling into the market.

Special thanks to Brian Smith, Dough Krafte, Ricardo Cavazos, Patrick J Crowley, Luigi G Martini, AsaGaasvik and Jan Lilja for their valuable insights in this special issue on Pharma R&D and manufacturing.

-- Issue 23 --

Prasanthi Potluri

Prasanthi Potluri

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