The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden surge in R&D activities across the world.
Both small and large pharmaceutical and biotech companies were engaged in tremendous efforts to either develop new molecules or repurpose existing therapies as potential drugs for COVID-19 treatment.
The trend is likely to continue with small-to-medium-segment and emerging biopharma participants introducing novel therapies across various indications, primarily oncology, infectious diseases, and neurology.
Per Pharma Intelligence’s annual R&D review, global non-clinical and clinical pipelines have grown by leaps and bounds--more than 10,000 molecules were in preclinical development and about 6,000 molecules were in clinical development as of January 2022. Industry dynamics saw a huge shift with much of the clinical research being conducted in emerging economies and third-world countries, such as India, Indonesia, China, LATAM, the Middle East, and South Africa.
As a result, several local CROs expanded their market reach by partnering with larger, global CROs and providing local clinical research support.
The industry also moved to adopt large-scale decentralized clinical trials, with a year-over-year growth of 50% and 28% between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, respectively.
Such changes expanded the participation of eClinical solution vendors and encouraged collaborations with CROs and pharmaceutical companies, providing cutting-edge solutions for data capture, pharmacovigilance, trial management, and other applications.
Drug discovery and preclinical service outsourcing (traditionally conducted in house because of IP infringement issues) has increased, owing to the rise in specialized drug discovery and preclinical CROs and the CRDMO model gaining traction.
CROs work as risk-sharing partners and offer one-stop-shop services to pharmaceutical companies, thereby cutting down costs and shortening the timeline of development.