Updated on 21 January 2015
--By Ross Horsburgh
What's next for the AsiaPacific biopharmaceutical landscape? Since the mid-1980s, the region has gone through three phases: the first trodden by pioneers willing to accept risk, often because of patient recruitment struggles in Europe and the US; the second marked by multinational biopharma companies seeking lower costs and faster trials; and the current phase, where Asia is a normal part of global development plans for new products.
I believe Asia-Pacific is entering phase four, one marked by global leadership in clinical trial research and by diffusion of Asian innovation in both products and processes to global markets.
I call this new phase the "Asia advantage." It's the result of a combination of factors, including the region's huge population, with six in 10 people worldwide living here; its growing number of local companies with promising pipelines (primed by strong government support for R&D); and its large numbers of highly qualified graduates in technology and the life-sciences.
In addition to significant funding and governments making biopharma sector growth a national priority, the Asia advantage is powered by the Asian mindset around partnering and innovation. This is different than the legacy mindset of the huge vertically integrated Western multinationals that dominated biopharma in the 20th century.