The average cost of bringing a drug to market continues to increase as regulation becomes increasingly stringent, treatments become increasingly complex, and as manufacturing supply chains are reshored away from cheaper – but less reliable – locations. Even the lowest estimates put the average cost of bringing a drug to market at $1.3bn, while many estimates put the cost at more than double this.
Either way, the pharmaceutical industry is searching for ways to improve cost efficiencies throughout the drug development process, with the early research and preclinical stages in particular constituting a major drain on resources.
Decisions around manufacturing equipment and facilities are of critical concern to companies across the industry, with small and medium-sized firms facing a choice between developing internal capabilities, partnering with a larger firm or outsourcing to a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The explosion in new biotechs over the last two decades, along with the proliferation of new and highly innovative treatments, has created a huge demand for capacity and increasingly expensive technology.
Companies looking to increase cost efficiencies have various considerations to incorporate. Decision-making around effective project management, partnerships strategy and developing sustainable processes requires crucial considerations throughout the drug development process. Companies across the industry often look to outsourcing to help achieve success in all these areas, which combine to increase cost efficiency.
Often new technology is needed to develop novel therapies, particularly in the cell and gene space, with scaling up proving to be a persistent bottleneck when dealing with low volumes. Cost efficiencies and expertise again go hand in hand, with companies often outsourcing or partnering primarily to gain access to manufacturing know-how.
To understand company attitudes around cost efficiencies and what actions they have taken, Cambrex surveyed 113 professionals from across the biopharma spectrum.