Pharma

More open innovation, collaboration needed to fill pharma’s pipelines

Over the next few years, we’ll likely be seeing more stories about things like Merck’s $90 million translational research center for scientists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists; Sanofi’s partnership with Third Rock Ventures to launch a new biotech company; and Johnson & Johnson, GSK and Index Ventures’ new fund. That’s because open innovation and cooperation in […]

Over the next few years, we’ll likely be seeing more stories about things like Merck’s $90 million translational research center for scientists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists; Sanofi’s partnership with Third Rock Ventures to launch a new biotech company; and Johnson & Johnson, GSK and Index Ventures’ new fund.

That’s because open innovation and cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry will continue to gain traction as patent losses and R&D cutbacks force drug companies to look outside of their own walls for promising technologies, according to a new report from GBI Research.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Pharma has become more receptive to cooperative alliances, partnerships and joint ventures with R&D specialists over the last decade, the report says. They’ve also refined their therapeutic focus, invested in biologics and taken some prescription products over the counter to accommodate.

And this will continue over the next decade, with more companies redirecting some of their investments into scientific hubs in China and India, the report predicts, like CROs Quintiles and IndiPharm already have. And increased awareness of open innovation will continue to lead academic institutions to pick up their tech transfer efforts.

This report echoes talk that pharma will need to become all-around more collaborative in filling its pipelines. Last month, a Quintiles report suggested that healthcare payers will also become increasingly involved in early drug development.

As Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher told reporters during the recent CED Life Sciences Conference: “The days when we locked all of our scientists up in a building and put them on a nice tree-lined campus are done.”

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