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The future of the biopharma industry: emerging markets and biosimilars

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/shutter_m
iStock/shutter_m

Related tags: China

China and India are the most important growth markets for biopharmaceutical manufacturers, according to our state of the industry survey.

Responses from our recent reader survey on the state of the biopharma industry show that, perhaps unsurprisingly, North America and Western Europe are viewed as the most important markets today, with 88% and 71% of the 233 respondents citing the regions, respectively.

In third place is China which just over 40% of respondents viewed as important for biopharma, while Japan came in fourth capturing 34% of our readers.

But the US and Europe are deemed rather stagnant when it comes to the future, with our survey indicating 43% and 36% view the respective regions important growth markets.

China, meanwhile, was cited by 61% of respondents, while half picked India as a key growth market. Other key growth markets high-lighted by our survey were Southeast Asia, South America and Russia and the CIS.

WHICH OF THESE DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE KEY GROWTH DRIVERS FOR YOUR FIRM OVER THE NEXT YEAR?

These emerging markets represent the second major growth driver for the biopharma industry, according to another survey question, beaten by biosimilars which 42% of our respondents said would a key driver for their firm in the near future.

While this may show nothing more than the majority of those who responded work for a biosimilar maker, it is impossible to ignore biosimilars and the impact they are likely to cause both in bringing access to cheaper biologics in emerging regions and within developed countries where payors are beginning to have a greater say in the choice of drugs available.

Within the past 18 months, the US has gone from having zero approved biosimilars to three, and it seems we are only at the beginning for this burgeoning industry, with key patents for such biologic blockbusters as AbbVie’s Humira and Roche’s Herceptin set to expire.

Cell & gene niche?

Interestingly, only 19% of respondents cited cell & gene therapies as a key growth driver.

While many have predicted such therapies will become the future for the pharma industry, only a handful of products have been approved and none have yet been proven to be cost-effective from a manufacturer’s standpoint.

And last week​, the sector was dealt a blow when Novartis reintegrated its standalone cell & gene therapy unit back into its main business, reducing workforce by 120 in a move some analysts viewed as a setback for the blossoming sector.

The full Biopharma-Reporter state of the biopharmaceutical industry report is still available to download for free here​.

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