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CPhI report shows R&D market diversifying innovation, with increased partnerships, mergers and revenue sharing models.

R&D sector to grow at over 8% driven by new evaluation techniques.

Report highlights:

  • Increased collaboration across industry, with three quarters partnering and 20% having merged or acquired an asset in the last year alone.
  • Anticancer drugs and antibiotics seen as major disease targets.
  • Combination drugs and personalised medicine are the most important novel focus areas.
  • With nanotechnology and drug devices featuring prominently suggesting efforts to improve drug delivery mechanisms.
  • Balancing long term and short term goals is still the major challenge for half of respondents, with nearly 40% also highlighting improving efficiency as a top challenge.
    • The rise of measurable ROI in R&D programmes continues with QbD used by 40%, 6 sigma by 18%, stage gate and lean by 15 and 12% respectively.
  • Commercial scale considerations starting earlier with nearly one third bringing in the commercial side at the pre-clinical stage.
  • Technology a major source of innovation sharing: over half of all companies out-licensing and more than 60% using licensed technology.

CPhI Worldwide, part of UBM Live’s Pharmaceutical Portfolio, announce the findings of its Pharma Insights report on R&D. Overall the report shows that the R&D market is diversifying innovation, with increased out/in licensing of technology, partnerships, and mergers. Improvements in evaluation have also been credited with helping the sector grow at an impressive 8%, with long-term objectives now being considered at earlier stages within the development process.

Furthermore, the industry is evolving its model, maintaining innovative output whilst also standardising approaches to measuring effectiveness, and crucially, returns on investment- with 40% using QbD for analytical and tech, 18% using 6 Sigma, 15% stage gate and 12% lean techniques to evaluate effectiveness.

Unsurprisingly, with the milestone nature of moving between clinical stages, balancing long and short-term goals was seen as a major challenge (53%) and improving efficiency (38%) also highlighted the growing efforts to improve ROI between stages. However, a clear trend has emerged from this with more and more companies involving commercial side at an earlier and earlier stage with 30% beginning in pre-clinical and a further 30% prior to phase iii.

Almost a quarter of respondents sighted cancer as a major focus area for 2014, with antibiotics (13%), cardiovascular (12%) and CNS (12%) targets also featuring notably. Additional evidence for the cancer-focus also emerged from the novel areas companies are working on, with 37% researching combination drugs and 20% personalised medicines. Outside of cancer, it appears that improved drug delivery mechanisms are targeted as 17% were investing in nanotechnology and 12% directly in drug devices.

However, the source of innovation is increasingly diverse with growing partnerships (75%), mergers 20%, and out/in-licensing of technology (55% and 60% respectively). Clearly, a major factor in competitiveness both now and in the future is access to technology, and we are seeing a more collaborative approach. This is an important trend and one that should enable the industry to continually innovate, with cross-pollination of projects, where even the smallest biotech can access crucial technology that enable them to move projects forward.

“With product development processes being increasingly managed through quality and control methods, the cost of and access to technology will be the essential access point on many projects ultimate viability,” Chris Kilbee, Group Director Pharma.

Highlighting the need for access to new techniques and technologies, 33% of respondents were partnering with research institutes, a further 15% with research-focussed companies and 10% with universities.

Drawing all these findings together the report concludes there is a clear desire amongst all companies to ensure future R&D spend is prudent and focused on bringing future products to market faster- and not just innovative targets. Monitoring processes more prescriptively and standardising approaches should enable a quicker transfer between phases. Most interesting for the future, we are now witnessing an ‘open innovation approach’ to technology- which will enable reduced R&D timelines and better results.

Chris Kilbee added: “What we are now seeing is the maturation of the R&D sector having gone through a period of change over the last few years with innovation moving down stream from big pharma. However, we are now at a point where innovation is coming in from new and more diverse fields as different areas of science collaborate and bring new techniques into pharma production. This trend coupled with a commitment to tackle long term project viabilities, alongside standardised methods for practice, should help reduce bottlenecks in the pipeline and bring more targets to market in a more cost effective manner. It is a really exciting period for the R&D sector with new ideas, nanotechnology and manufacturing techniques and process bringing a new rigour and commercial focus to future projects.”

About CPhI

CPhI drives growth and innovation at every step of the global pharmaceutical supply chain from drug discovery to finished dosage. Through exhibitions, conferences and online communities, CPhI brings together more than 100,000 pharmaceutical professionals each year to network, identify business opportunities and expand the global market. CPhI hosts events in Europe, China, India, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Istanbul, Russia and South America and co-locates with ICSE for contract services, P-MEC for machinery, equipment & technology, InnoPack for pharmaceutical packaging and BioPh for biopharma. CPhI provides an online buyer & supplier directory at

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The UBM Live annual schedule of Pharmaceutical events also includes CPhI, ICSE, P-MEC, BioPh and Pharmatec Japan (9-11 April, 2014 at the Big Sight Exhibition Centre- Tokyo); CPhI Russia and IPhEB (16-17 April, 2014 at the Lenexpo Exhibition Complex- St Petersburg, Russia); CPhI, P-MEC and Innopack South East Asia (20-22 May, 2014 at the Jakarta International Expo- Jakarta, Indonesia); CPhI Istanbul (4-6 June, 2014, at the Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre- Turkey); CPhI, Hi and Fi, ICSE, P-MEC, BioPh and LabWorld China (26-28 June, 2014 at SNIEC- Shanghai, China); CPhI South America (5-7 August 2014 at Expo Centre Norte, Sao Paulo- Brazil); CPhI, ICSE Korea (2-3 September, 2014 at the COEX- Seoul, South Korea); CPhI, ICSE, P-MEC and InnoPack Worldwide (7-9 October 2014, Paris Nord Villepinte- France); CPhI and P-MEC India (2-4 December, 2014 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre- Mumbai).

About UBM Live

UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands, and expand their market. Through premier brands such as TFM&A, Internet World, IFSEC, MD&M, CPhI, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show, and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, Websites, and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors.

Source PR Newswire

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