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It has been widely recognized that the global pharmaceutical industry is currently experiencing dynamic change. To a large extent, the drug companies, large or small, now rely on outsourcing service providers more than ever to fulfill their tasks, solve their problems, and improve their efficiency and productivity.
Meanwhile, the global competitive environment also has forced them to constantly streamline manufacturing operations, leading to an increased demand for contract manufacturing of marketed drugs, especially small molecule generic drugs e.
Compared with the time before the financial crisis, the global-funding models of many VC investors have changed. For instance, in the sector of target identification and validation, genomics and proteomics research and gene-silencing technology have now been widely used to validate more complex and structurally diverse disease targets.
A variety of microarray technologies also are widely used to study the differences in gene expression patterns and gene interactions. Most of this type of work is now performed by either academic research organizations, specialty biotech companies, or professional CROs.
A virtually integrated, cross-functional outsourcing operation of drug discovery research is currently prevailing as the latest outsourcing model, especially for small molecule drug discovery.
Chemical synthesis and biological testing work is now almost completely performed by CROs and, to a lesser extent, academic research organizations.
The worldwide outsourcing demand for preclinical research and development is, however, still soft at present. Meanwhile, many drug companies also are shifting their research methodologies for toxicology tox studies to include molecular biomarkers, imaging, and companion diagnostics, as these new technologies are able to provide better safety profiles of trial compounds.
The clinical trial has now, indeed, become a global process. More and more trials now require the inclusion of global trial sites, with an increasing proportion of patients from the emerging countries participating in trials.
Those CROs that are already well-established in these emerging countries appear to be well-positioned for success in the competitive global industry. Likewise, the global CMO sector also is currently experiencing strong demand for both APIs and pharma intermediates of the marketed drugs, in particular, generic drugs.
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|New Global Pharmaceutical Outsourcing Trends||While many companies across a variety of industries achieve cost savings through this sourcing strategy, the benefits are often offset by complexities associated with global logistics management. Even though total supply chain costs may be reduced by global sourcing, typically, transportation and logistics costs have been rising as a percentage of the cost-of-goods sold COGS.|
Moreover, as more drug companies now pursue personalized medicines which will result in more diverse product portfolios for these companiesit is expected the demand for related outsourcing services will become stronger in the future.
Major pharma companies also are gradually increasing the outsourcing proportion of their formulation work, especially for small molecule generic drugs. However, unlike the outsourcing of small molecule drugs, large-scale outsourcing of biologics did not start until very recently.
Most biopharma companies still have not yet established a strategic plan for their bio-outsourcing practice. At present, the majority of bio-outsourcing activities are still centered on low-end tasks such as the development of cell lines, contract manufacturing of developmental biologic drugs to support clinical development at various stages, and bio-analysis and product characterization.
Meanwhile, because of the worldwide recognition of the huge future growth potential of the biosimilar market, increasing numbers of global CROs and CMOs are aggressively enhancing their capabilities and expanding their services in this new area.
Latest New Technologies And Services Today, major pharma companies are in desperate need to develop better drugs with high success rates. The key bottlenecks include selecting the right therapeutic targets and understanding the cause of severe side effects.
Consequently, new technologies such as biomarkers, molecular imaging, and companion diagnostics as well as new services such as antibody library construction and screening, genomic testing, and cell-line development have been developed. The recent financial crisis has further strengthened this trend.
Most emerging markets possess a number of attractive factors to all global pharma companies.
For instance, one such factor is the availability of a large talent pool that earns a wage still relatively low compared to Western countries but that has nearly comparable technical capabilities and skills.
This situation is especially true in China and India. To realize their goals, the global drug companies are currently looking for partnerships with local companies or research organizations in the emerging countries that possess the desired technical capabilities.
Meanwhile, to meet these demands by the global drug companies and to have a firm position in the fast growing regions, almost all major CROs and CMOs have put a significant amount of their investment into these emerging countries, including building up their service capabilities and capacities through either vertical growth, partnerships including joint venturesor acquisitions of local service providers.
Based on the past growth trend and the future growth drivers of this industry, it is believed the global pharma outsourcing industry will still experience fast growth in the next five years to In addition, as all major pharma companies are currently narrowing their service provider pool to only a couple of preferred CROs in the key service sectors, it is expected that fiercer competition will occur in the global pharma outsourcing industry in the next couple of years.
As a result, an industrywide wave of CRO consolidation is expected to take place in the very near future. As such, nowadays almost all major pharma companies have established special internal operation units specifically for managing partner relationships.
It is thus appropriate to say that today the outsourcing service industry is playing a significantly important role in moving the entire pharmaceutical industry forward.
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