19 Dec 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The top global pharmaceutical companies are employing new growth strategies to counter mounting industry challenges like patent expiration of several blockbuster drugs, as well as fewer drug approvals.
Global Life Sciences Trends and Opportunities research by Frost and Sullivan finds that the industry consists of several billion dollar markets totaling $1.35 trillion in 2012, which is anticipated to reach $5.01 trillion in 2015. This global life sciences analysis discusses three technologies with "bench to bedside" potential, including next-generation sequencing, microRNA and digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
"In addition to implementing new growth strategies to face larger economic challenges, pharmaceutical companies are doing less R&D internally than decades ago," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Winny Tan. "By externalizing much of the development work for drugs and diagnostics, development costs are curbed while organizations are able to leverage outside expertise."
While the R&D laboratory market is very different from the clinical laboratory market, Frost & Sullivan research notes a common trend, laboratories across the US have been operating in a leaner manner. Disappearing government financing in research, laboratory workforce shortages, and a weakened economy affects all laboratories, both R&D and clinical.
"The potential for research to have implications on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases has spurred technology development towards faster, more sensitive, cheaper research tools," said Tan. "Expeditious, more cost-effective research leads to shorter timelines between biomarker discovery and the development of tests and therapeutics, and thus, better patient outcomes."
Frost & Sullivan's coverage of nucleic-based testing indicates that molecular diagnostic technologies were well integrated into modern healthcare across the globe in 2012. In addition, infectious disease testing is the most mature application of molecular diagnostics, followed by genetic testing such as testing of inherited disorders. Oncology will be the next expansion area, partly enabled by the overcoming of nucleic acid isolation challenges from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens.