Drug Delivery Heats Up
The prices of drug-delivery deals have been going up -- thanks to spec pharma which has now turned almost entirely to the products of drug delivery and reformulation to re-stock their pipelines. Meanwhile, Big Pharma remains a minor player in small-molecule reformulation, but is increasingly active when it comes to macromolecules.
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The drug delivery device industry is on track to reach almost $23 billion by the year 2011, and the fastest growth will come from the transdermal sector. According to a recent Windhover Information/Medtech Insight report, transdermal delivery technologies will build up to sales of $4.6 billion by 2011. Pharma's increasing fondness for macromolecules will fuel that growth, as will the perennially hot market for transdermal formulations of pain drugs.
While making money in drug delivery has always been tougher than its boosters have promised, this year's been ugly in new and disturbing ways. The key lessons of Pfizer's abandonment of inhaled insulin and Impax's patent assault on Endo's Opana are that partners are less reliable; the products need to be medically superior to existing ones, not simply more convenient; and generic companies are making inroads into the main bastion of drug-delivery success -- spec pharma.
In this issue, we present another installment of our quarterly review of pharmaceutical/biotechnology dealmaking-for April-June 2007. Our data come from Windhover's Strategic Transactions Database. Look for our quarterly review on the medical device, in vitro diagnostics, and research industries in upcoming issues.