Consultant Report Summary, April

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Consultant Report Summary: Life Sciences Outlook

While previous research identified eight items, the "2020 Global Life Sciences Outlook" was the only in-depth report published by consultants in the past month. The report provides an insight into the life sciences sector, focusing on biopharma and medtech companies. The topics covered include drug and medtech trends, measuring the human experience, and shifts in therapeutic focus.


Drug Trends

Medtech Sales Trends

Measuring the Human Experience

Inclusive Clinical Trials

  • Researchers have been asking for more inclusive clinical trials for years. There is increasing demand to expand the number of participants in trials, and to focus on demographic groups that will receive the treatments.
  • The biopharma sector has found it challenging recruiting participants for clinical trials. A study found that in two-thirds of studies the participants used were younger than the average age of those who would eventually need the treatment.
  • One of the factors that plays a part in participants in trials is where and how trials take place. Moving to virtual trials using telemedicine can increase inclusion.

Meaningful Work

Deals and Valuations

  • The end of 2019 saw a slow down of mergers and acquisitions in the life science sector compared to the first part of the year. The value of deals closed in 2019 were significantly higher than in 2018.
  • In 2020, biopharma and medtech companies will need to continue focusing on acquiring and taking chances on cell and gene therapy companies, especially those that focus on oncology and rare diseases.
  • An increase in private equity and venture capital funding may mean smaller companies are able to take a larger market share and not be bought up by the larger pharma companies.

Technology Acquisitions and Trends

Software Licensing Trends and Cloud Investments

Return on Capital

Grants and Academic Research Trends

  • The proposed NIH appropriation for biomedical research in 2020 is $34.4 billion. However, the budget can be significantly impacted by fiscal conditions. Grants and awards continue to decrease and may limit innovation.

Shifts in Therapeutic Focus

  • In 2020, pharma activity is expected to focus on rare diseases and treatments for unmet needs.
  • Cell, and gene therapies will continue to be explored but are hindered by high costs. For these treatments to continue more investments will be needed and reimbursement models may need to be reviewed.
  • Antibiotics are another area of exploration, but low profitability means that many pharma companies are choosing to focus attention elsewhere.

New and Expanded Manufacturing Facilities

AI in Drug Discovery

Trends in Approvals

  • A 2018 study found that almost 14% of clinical trials receive drug approval with the US FDA. 83% of approvals were for the treatment of rare diseases.

Manufacturing Trends

Digital Transformation in Biopharma and Medtech

Medtech and Consumer Tech

  • Medtech companies face continued competition from consumer technology companies. Companies can look to collaborate with each other to drive innovation.

Patient Data

  • Big pharma is continuing to share data, with 95% of all clinical trial data now publicly available within six months. In 2020, experts expect the debate about who owns patient data to continue

Corporate Social Responsibility