The Evolution and Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry
By: Jing Li, Founder and CEO, VelaVigo
During a conversation with Prisila, correspondent of Asia Business Outlook Magazine, Jing Li shares his views on the evolution and future of the pharmaceutical industry, discussing trends, innovations, and challenges.
Jing Li, with over 20 years of industry experience,he has worked extensively in biologics research, drug discovery, and development. He has managed programs, led innovative biologics drug discovery and built research alliances. Currently, he is running his own company focusing on innovative biologics, collaborating with external partners to benefit global patients.
Impact of Technological Advancements and Major Trends in the Past Decade
The pharmaceutical industry constantly grapples with the challenge of balancing accessibility and affordability. Drug discovery and development costs have steadily risen over the years, with reports indicating significant expenditures of billions of dollars and prolonged timelines of up to 16 years for bringing innovative drugs to market. These escalating costs are attributed to factors such as increasing need of biology knowledge in modern drug discovery and the diminishing low hanging fruits, particularly in challenging areas like cancer research. Simultaneously, countries face mounting pressure to reduce healthcare costs, necessitating the need for more efficient discovery.
To address these challenges, internal discovery efficiency is crucial, requiring optimized structures and collaborations within companies. Additionally, establishing comprehensive, integrated units that foster cooperation among industry stakeholders is vital. Embracing flexible partnerships and leveraging expertise externally can enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Technological advancements, particularly in AI and machine learning, offer hope for future advancements in bio-data analysis and increased information availability. These innovations have the potential to significantly reduce costs and facilitate global information exchange.
The PHARMA industry has been performing exceptionally well in the past two decades? despite the challenging situation. However, there are constant challenges that we face across different sectors.
The Evolution and Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry:
In order to address the challenges of the new technology age, particularly AI, machine learning, and big data analysis, reliance on computer technologies is crucial. These advancements hold immense potential to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the discovery process. To unlock patterns of success, two key approaches must be considered. Firstly, adopting an open attitude towards trying new technologies is essential. However, it is equally important to promptly assess their usefulness and discontinue ineffective ones to minimize costs and maximize productivity. This selective approach requires making swift decisions and choosing technologies that truly benefit our internal processes, such as drug discovery and development. Therefore, while maintaining an open mindset, internal efficiency and fast decision-making become critical factors in selecting the most suitable technology. In summary, the three essential components involve embracing new technologies like AI and machine learning, making effective decisions, and swiftly adopting or discarding technologies to optimize resources.
A specialized group has been formed to utilize databases from both the public and private sectors, including paid services, for conducting comprehensive biological data analysis. The internal analysis methodology employed incorporates machine learning techniques to maximize the utilization of available data. The primary objective is to identify new targets that can enhance the portfolio through innovative approaches based on the existing data. A dedicated team is focused on bolstering internal capabilities and staying abreast of advancements in AI-driven discovery. The ultimate goal is to translate these technologies, ideas, and concepts into concrete outcomes for specific drug discovery targets.
"Globalization will play a crucial role in facilitating information sharing, intellectual property transactions, investments, and external collaborations."
Enhancing Drug Development and Post-Marketing Surveillance
The drug discovery and development in the industry operates differently from other sectors due to strict regulation by government agencies such as the FDA in the US, EMA in Europe, and various agencies in different countries. Compliance with each country's regulatory authority is essential for conducting clinical trials and marketing approvals. Maintaining effective communication with these agencies is crucial to avoid delays and ensure smooth operations. Taking advantage of established procedures and participating in meetings with regulatory agencies can facilitate better communication. Additionally, staying updated with evolving regulations is vital, as agencies continuously refine their guidelines. Internally, having a competent team is essential, encompassing expertise in research, development, regulatory filing and compliance. Collaboration with external partners can supplement the internal team's capabilities. Ultimately, efficient communication, continuous learning, and well-organized operations are keys to navigating the unique challenges of the drug discovery and development industry.
Emerging trends and innovations that shaping its future.
The PHARMA industry has been performing exceptionally well in the past two weeks despite the challenging situation. However, there are constant challenges that we face across different sectors. Critical talent availability, information sharing limitations, different regulations and exacerbated geopolitical factors hinder transactions, investments and collaborations. Technological advancements and intense competition in global further demand continuous learning and adoption of new approaches to stay ahead. To survive in this industry, one must effectively handle the delicate balance between innovation and productivity which can be also translated into accessibility and affordability. The hope lies in the diminishing political risks and the increasing openness of the global market. Globalization will play a crucial role in facilitating information sharing, talent flow, intellectual property transactions, investments, and external collaborations. To tackle the challenges and maintain a strong technological edge, an open attitude, continuous learning, effective internal operation and extensive external collaboration are imperative.