Drug delivery industry consolidating

March 1, 2001

Pharmaceutical Representative

As much as 13% of the current $337 billion global pharmaceutical market in the U.S. is accounted for by sales of products incorporating a drug delivery system, according to a 200-page report published by Epsom, England-based CMR International. However, despite the surge in demand for novel drug delivery technologies in recent years, the report pinpoints that the drug delivery industry is facing consolidation and could be dominated by a small number of multi-technology companies in the near future.

The report, titled "The Application of Drug Delivery Systems: Current Practices and Future Strategies," addresses the issues surrounding the novel drug delivery technologies being developed to help pharmaceutical companies make their products easier to administer, more patient-friendly and more effective. Researchers also discovered that drug delivery companies and pharmaceutical organizations are failing to align their product development expectations. As a result, novel drug delivery technologies could have only a limited impact on the drive to introduce innovative new pharmaceutical products to the market.

Other findings

By using parallel surveys of the drug delivery and pharmaceutical industries, together with the results of a closed workshop that took place in April 2000 involving survey participants, CMR International has published information on the actual utilization of novel drug delivery technologies within the pharmaceutical industry. The report reveals some important findings:


•Â Speed to market is a key concern for pharmaceutical companies. Implementation of drug delivery technologies by pharmaceutical companies is being held back due to concerns over possible delays this might cause, for technical or regulatory reasons.


•Â Within many large pharmaceutical companies, only 40% of projects currently underway incorporating drug delivery systems are focused on novel compounds.


•Â Oral delivery systems remain the preferred option of the pharmaceutical industry despite the rise in availability of innovative technologies.


•Â New collaborations between pharmaceutical and drug delivery companies are on the decline. Moreover, the decrease in new alliances is being compounded by an increase in the number of alliances being terminated.

"The report's findings show that the drug delivery industry remains highly fragmented," said Gordon Findlay, CMR's manager, strategy and planning. "There are too many companies in various stages of development and operating a range of strategies. The majority of drug delivery companies are not profitable and require financial support from the pharmaceutical industry. The report's results point to an impending phase of consolidation for the drug delivery industry. This will leave the future market to be dominated by a few multi-technology drug delivery companies." PR

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