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A New Year and a new look. For 2019 we have merged the Scrip 100 with In Vivo’s annual preview magazine, creating a new beast known as Outlook. This encompasses all the best aspects of both issues and covers more topic areas than ever before.
With a challenging new decade of scientific discovery looming, 2019 is the positioning year for biopharma to make value, transparency, information and culture work seamlessly to achieve innovations that matter to patients, payers and society.
The relative absence of blockbuster M&A within medtech in 2018, compared with recent years, does not mean that consolidation of the industry – and of providers and payers – will not continue apace in 2019 and beyond. In fact, it is written – if not in the stars then possibly in digital coding – that there will be fewer and bigger entities at the top end of the ecosystem of medtech stakeholders. And rising demand will be met more and more by digital tools and functionalities.
Latest From Outlook 2019
Lift the burden of paper on drug quality reviews and the pace of innovation is no longer a problem for structural engineers or couriers – or even print or electronic document rooms. The focus at the US FDA is now on enabling direct transmission and analysis of critical quality data.
High valuations, an uncertain biopharma macro environment and widespread use of US tax reform benefits for share buybacks and capital investments resulted in less major M&A than expected. Opinions vary widely on whether 2019 will be any different.
Sanofi and Gilead moved down in the rankings of Scrip's top 100 pharmaceutical companies, based on 2017 pharma sales, while Johnson & Johnson, GSK and AbbVie moved up. Shire joined the top 20 just as it is about to be consumed by Takeda.
In Vivo's latest rankings of the top 100 revenue earners in the medical technology industry show the groups leading the global market tightening their grip further in 2017. This was partly a function of providers choosing to partner more and more with fewer suppliers who can offer a wider provision of services. But it was steady as she goes for most of the multinational medtechs, with some major exceptions, and there will be more M&A reflected in next year's rankings, based on 2018 revenues.
The cacophony of noise in the modern world is one factor driving the loss of hearing throughout humankind, a condition that until now has not been thought amenable to pharmacological intervention. But with small-molecule approaches to regenerating cells in the inner ear bearing fruit, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are taking renewed interest in the sector.
The majority of pharmaceutical companies in the UK work closely with the NHS and In Vivo spoke to one of them – Janssen – to see how successful industry, health care providers and payers have been in breaking out of their silos and collaborating.
Having a single patient's complete health care information all in one place was a dream that US visionaries began to talk up around a decade ago. The idea was that fast, electronic support for doctors would aid clinical decision making and efficiency. Ten years on, there is still much work to do before the dream is realized, says Philips' Carla Kriwet. But a solution is within reach.
As the pipeline and market for novel cell and gene therapies expands, it is time for drug developers to address other critical aspects in the logistical chain – and for these complex therapies a lot of those issues relate to manufacturing. Looking at specific cases, In Vivo has underlined the main manufacturing challenges facing cell and gene therapy developers, and highlighted methods and approaches being used to generate solutions.
Professor Sir John Bell talks to In Vivo about how the life sciences sector has evolved during his career, lessons he has learned along the way, and the biggest challenges and changes ahead for the industry in 2019.
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