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THE PHARMA REVIEW (JULY 2009)

Emerging Trends In Biotechnology

O.R.S. Rao

Big Pharmaceutical Companies are scouting for Biopharma Partners
The cost of producing a marketable drug has significantly increased in recent years due to greater regulatory control, increased competition and globalisation. Far-reaching changes in marketing issues such as product portfolio management, physician relationship management and consumer education have transformed the pharmaceutical business. To keep analysts and shareholders happy, companies are scrambling to fill their pipelines with potential blockbusters and hedging against failures by ensuring a steady flow of specialty and medium-sized drugs to the market. Now, more than ever, pharmaceutical companies must outsource research and development works to their biotechnology counterparts - and they are doing so in record numbers.

Nearly one third of new pharmaceutical products are developed through such alliances. The news that five major pharmaceutical firms have no billion-dollar blockbusters in late-stage development underscores the growing importance of these collaborations. Pharmaceutical companies are not the only ones that stand to gain from these partnerships; opportunities abound for biotechnology companies as well. These puny biotechnology companies often lack the marketing muscle to launch a new drug. Biotechnology companies need the backing of major pharmaceutical companies to achieve rapid sales uptake and boost peak annual sales. Biotechnology companies are nimbler than their pharmaceutical counterparts and their coveted assets tend to be scientific minds and proprietary technology. What pharmaceutical companies bring to these partnerships is the ability to navigate regulations minefield and of course, marketing expertise.

 

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