BIO 2016 Survey: Where is Biopharma Headed?

By Admin
Posted 07 / 11 / 2016

15,937 industry leaders, 40% of which were C-level executives, attended the BIO International Convention in San Francisco that ran June 6-9. The team used this opportune gathering of the biopharma industry to unveil the findings of a study that it recently sponsored with The Economist Intelligence Unit, titled The Changing Biopharma Risk Equation.

Ruta Waghmare, Director of Worldwide Emerging Biotech Market Sales Development at brand-name, took the stage at the BioProcess Theater and examined the results of the EIU survey through the lens of the emerging biotech. Her presentation reviewed the changing landscape small biotechs are facing and how these companies see risks shifting in the next five years.

As a complement to the data Ms. Waghmare presented in her talk, we asked conference participants visiting our booth to complete a 7-question survey to see how their perceptions compare to those that the Economist Intelligence Unit uncovered when they surveyed 254 C-level industry executives. The survey included a selection of questions from the EIU survey that explored biopharma’s future growth plans and how moving into new geographical markets and therapies shape these companies’ risk management strategies. Thirty-three visitors to our booth completed the survey, and the results reinforced the outcome of the EIU survey.

Survey Highlights

67% of 33 total respondents were small biotechs (less than $500m in revenue)

Expansion into generics/biosimilars development and new geographical markets ranked among the top two most important growth strategies. Interestingly, this response contrasted that of the EIU survey cohort where expansion into new products and new types of therapeutic categories surfaced as the top two future growth strategies. The group of BIO survey respondents also showed different goals for geographic expansion than the executives who completed the EIU survey. North America and Europe are the major targets for growth for 39% and 54% of BIO respondents, respectively, whereas the EIU survey revealed EMEA (Europe, Middle East, & Africa) and Latin America as the top regions for expansion. On the other hand, geographic expansion and growth trended toward North America and Europe when looking specifically at EIU survey responses from small players. Lastly, although Latin America did not fall under the top two growth regions for BIO executives, it is still on their radar with 27% of respondents interested in adding production/development capacity or growing market share in this region.

In line with the results of the EIU survey, our booth survey indicated that novel therapies like cell and gene therapy are top of mind for biopharma as they grow their pipelines, however recombinant therapies like mAbs will still play an important role in drug development and production over the next five years.

Lastly, regulatory uncertainty (42.4%) and intellectual property theft (24.2%) surfaced as the biggest threats to growth strategy as they move into new markets and expand their pipeline with new drug products. Regulatory uncertainty was also the #1 concern for EIU survey respondents, however their second biggest concern was lacking of funding for growth plans. This was not surprising considering the number of small players that completed the survey and rely heavily on funding to realize the success of their molecule.

For the most part, our BIO booth survey results reinforced the responses of the 254 biopharma executives that the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed. Given the large percentage of small biotechs that responded to our BIO booth survey, it is not surprising that North America and Europe are still seen as areas for growth while large pharma moves into regions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Overall, both large and small biotech are keen to drive growth through novel therapies while also focusing efforts on areas that will continue to be in high demand over the next five years, e.g. mAbs and biosimilars.

There is excitement in the air as these companies expand into new territories and products, but with that excitement come risk and new challenges. Learn more about how brand-name can help you overcome these barriers and bring new therapies to market faster, more cost effectively, and with confidence.