The Biggest Biopharma Trends to Look Out for in 2021

Looking for updates about biopharma trends?

With healthcare one of the major concerns in our current society, it’s important to stay up-to-date. The pharmaceutical industry is worth billions, and developments are always happening. You must know the biggest trends since they will set the industry’s agendas.

Are you ready to learn about biopharma and its current trends? Read on and find out more:

1. Expectations for the COVID-19 Vaccine

The recent pandemic affected the pharmaceutical industry the most. It made every supporting scientist turn toward vaccines. Right now, over 200 vaccines for the virus are in development throughout the world.

Out of these, 84 are already in clinical development. Out of these, 15 are in Phase III clinical trials.

Regardless, it’s unlikely for vaccines to end the pandemic outright. It’s a virus with uncertain origins, immunological effects, longevity, and mutability. It remains humanity’s best chance to bring it under control.

When society controls the pandemic, lockdowns and other destabilizing restraints become less necessary. Some of the best candidates come from Pfizer and BioNTech. They show over 95% efficacy in Phase III trials with over 94% efficacy for people over 65 years of age.

These contenders intensified their vaccine manufacturing. At the same time, they’re negotiating agreements for both supplies and pricing.

No matter how effective the vaccines become, some hurdles will be difficult to cross. At the moment, international demand will be hard to meet. Here are other obstacles:

  • Distribution and logistics
  • Affordability and availability
  • Financial responsibility for entire populations
  • Compensation schemes for patients

The rush to develop effective vaccines represents the best qualities of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s using expertise, innovation, and expertise to overcome health crises. At the same time, it’s about staying competitive.

2. More Attention Toward Neuroscience

Over the years, biopharma dealmakers focused on few select areas of developing drugs. It includes cancer, rare diseases, and immune disorders. Others include technologies such as cell and gene therapy.

Before, most major pharma players avoid brain and central nervous system studies. The primary reason is due to the sheer number of drugs that ended up as failures. In recent years, the scientific understanding of these systems raised optimism.

Most experts now have a better grasp on certain diseases. Some of these include depression, ALS, and movement disorders. It did a lot to reignite the interest of various companies.

Starting this year, pharmaceuticals will shift toward researching the central nervous system.

The demand for companies studying neurodegenerative illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s increased. Big pharma will spend billions to develop experimental treatments.

Some will invest in gene therapy companies. They aim to make medicine targeting dementia and the like.

This trend also paved the way for more public and private investments in brain-focused biotechs. For example, Atalanta Therapeutics launched to develop neurodegenerative disorder treatments. They aim to do it by silencing genes.

3. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence in the pharmaceutical landscape will become more prominent. Its usefulness shines in R&D. It also impacts the healthcare environment in broader ways.

It’s debatable whether the uptake matches the pace of change. It determines whether it uses AI’s maximum potential to make innovation possible and faster. Despite this, many pharmaceuticals are moving forward with their AI initiatives.

Over the next year, expenditures on tools related to AI will exceed $8 billion per year. It’s the total sum across seven healthcare segments. It includes:

  • Remote prevention and care
  • Treatment pathways and support
  • Diagnostics support
  • Operations
  • Sales and marketing
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Support functions

The forecast also projects companies spending $1.3 billion on AI-related tools for drug discovery and development. It’s a worthy investment since it improves R&D, sales, manufacturing, and marketing. It improves planning and implementation processes.

It allows companies to have a faster, more efficient process. At the same time, it lowers the risk of human error, duplication, and wastage. However, data privacy and upfront costs remain major concerns.

The pandemic demands innovative thinking while maintaining efficiency and speed. AI can become the solution.

4. More Market Access Challenges

In the end, everything in the pharmaceutical industry comes down to market access. It’s a global issue since it affects all levels of healthcare environments. It matters not whether it’s national, regional, or local.

Companies must have a physical marketplace presence. They must have the means of driving uptake with a sustainable cost. Your expertise, investments, planning, and innovation won’t matter without these fundamentals.

It’s unlikely to make commercial gain or better patient and healthcare outcomes. It’s why market access remains a primary concern for pharma. For years, various barriers pile up, such as escalating healthcare costs.

The recent pandemic magnified pressures to cost. It’s a large-scale disruption. It affects both the pharmaceutical industry and various healthcare systems.

Its arrival resulted in introducing or worsening market access challenges.

With reduced staffing, pharma companies will struggle. Their decreased resources make managing, communicating, and marketing drug launches harder.

The global economic downturn affects the industry’s funding. It means R&D and other commercial activities are less profitable in some markets. The share-price erosion accompanying this effect worsens the situation.

Countries closing their borders result in raw material shortages. It applies to active ingredients in drugs. It makes the supply chain slower in the long run.

5. Premiums Stay Sky-High

The stiff competition alongside well-funded biotechs means shelling out larger funds. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to lock down deals. Lots of pharma companies sell at double the average market values.

Big pharmaceutical companies are willing to pay these steep premiums. It helps them overcome the lag within their internal R&D. It lets them access new technologies, but it makes deals more complex.

Boards often feel uncomfortable whenever premiums are too low. Buyers feel the same when premiums are too high due to criticisms. It carries a certain psychological impact, affecting everyone’s willingness to transact.

It’s less impactful on large pharmaceuticals. As long as they feel that the deal is right, the price won’t matter as much. For example, Pfizer’s CEO declared that they have no upper bounds for spending.

6. Faster Digital Transformation

Before the pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry was already transforming. It matters not even when the industry is sluggish and conservative. The digital revolution will stay since it conferred substantial benefits.

The pandemic forced companies to move their core activities to virtual spaces. Remote working brought some frustrations. However, it enabled faster digital technology and media adoption within the industry.

This shift carries far-reaching consequences for various pharmaceutical trends. It persists even after the pandemic becomes nothing more but a memory. The virtual platforms deliver personalized communication channels that benefit the healthcare industry.

Pharma companies must capitalize on digital technologies. It gives real-time data generation. It helps build a more patient-oriented value for their product offerings.

It also prevents flouting restrictions on direct medicine promotions. It won’t undermine physicians and their traditional roles. It matters not whether it’s as confidants or gatekeepers to patient care.

Another effect of the pandemic is overturning established business practices. It motivates the industry to embrace digital strategies.

They’re more proactive nowadays. They use digital methods to help maintain the flow of information, communication, and awareness.

It also forced companies to be creative and flexible with their business model. It accommodates restrictions like working from home and travel bans.

7. Drug Developer Priorities Will Continue Shifting

The shift in priorities will be meaningful. Researching for drugs and understanding rare diseases will continue growing. Expect more niche-busters instead of the traditional blockbuster model.

The industry will continue looking for unmet needs. It’s all to develop drugs that address them.

Precision medicine makes it easier for companies. It allows them to have the right patient population to maximize their targeted therapy.

The number of drugs entering the market will increase. It also applies to pricing and market access. Nevertheless, companies will have better means of making value-based decisions.

They will base these decisions on real-world data. It supports drug access, product brands, and others. If it becomes a major pharma trend, it can alleviate market access problems.

Looking to build an all-star biotech team? Tune in as Vivek Ramaswamy, founder of Roivant Sciences gives advice. It involves recruiting and retaining a winning team.

8. Increased Radiomics Importance

In 2021, more companies will adopt radiomics. It will benefit various drug development strategies and clinical trial management. It helps them gain more insight on developing more effective medicine.

Radiomics will enable faster therapy development. At the same time, treatment becomes more personalized while discovering new biomarkers. It improves both treatment and clinical decision-making in the long run.

Learn More About Biopharma Today!

These are some of the most prominent trends in the biopharma industry. Whether you’re a company or an enthusiast, these trends will play an important part. It will shape the future landscape of the industry, for better or worse.

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