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The year 2021 brought great change in the field of biopharma, mainly due to worldwide vaccinations for COVID-19. In addition, 128 biopharma companies in the world went public.
In tandem with the industry’s rapid success, however, biopharma companies now face challenges in commercialization, finance planning, and portfolio building. Biopharma companies such as Avid Bioservices, a biologics and biopharma CDMO are embracing the following trends.
1. Advanced Modality Pipeline
The advanced modality pipeline has been on the rise for several years. But the trend picked up speed in 2021 when both China and the US approved CAR-T therapy. Accordingly, companies studying gene therapy and cell therapy raised $23.1 billion the same year.
These clinical, regulatory, and commercial factors will shape the future of the advanced modality pipeline in biopharma in 2022. Key developments include:
- CAR-T for earlier lines of B cell lymphomas.
- Gene therapy for beta-thalassemia and cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy.
- Reinvigoration of RNA therapeutic pipeline.
- Protein degradation to destroy proteins causing disease.
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2. Rising Global Pricing Pressure
Pharmaceutical companies are under a lot of pressure from consumers, payers, and governments to reduce their costs. Pharmacy Benefit Managers are demanding more discounts. Payers are restricting coverage of costly treatments.
Competitive companies play a role by reducing treatment pricing by 50-70%. Congress also put forth plans to control drug pricing through Medicare. Therefore, biopharma companies will have to manage their pricing carefully to keep customers and payers happy without going bankrupt in the process.
3. Commercialization in Biopharma
Advanced treatment modalities, industrial decision-making, and other advancements have caused biopharma companies to change their commercial ovation strategies. The following developments are coming in the future:
- Smaller scale forces
- A mix of in-person and virtual engagement
- Greater focus on the healthcare system versus individual decision-makers
- Increased mobilization of advanced treatments such as cell and gene therapy
Scientists now use biomarker techniques for disease diagnoses, screening processes, treatment selection, and monitoring of management programs. Therefore, biomarkers have become a critical component of the drug industry.
Personalized medicines are getting more approval from the FDA than they were two decades ago. Therefore, the following developments in biopharma are in the works for coming years:
- Advances in liquid biopsy, leading to earlier diagnoses and more accessible screening
- The liquid biopsy, which provides better monitoring for patient responses to treatment
- Tumors categorized into subtypes based on biomarkers, making treatment selection easier
Additionally, biomarker usage will likely expand beyond oncology into cardiovascular diseases and immunologic diseases.
5. The Financing Landscape in the Biopharma Industry
In Western countries, the consensus on financing seems to shift from the public toward private and alternative fundraising. US equity markets are therefore challenged. This will cause strong venture capital investment and an increase in non-dilutive financing such as royalty monetization and debt financing.
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The shifting trends are causing critical changes in the pharmaceutical ecosystem. To gain a top position in the biopharma industry, leaders of pharmaceutical companies need to monitor these trends and plan accordingly.
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