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8 September, 2011 - 08:40 By News Desk

New drug delivery paradigm needed as patents fall off cliff

New drug delivery method urgently needed

A hard-hitting Cambridge report says a new paradigm is needed for delivering tomorrow’s medicines as hundreds of patents tumble off the regulatory cliff.

 Drug delivery device developer, Cambridge Design Partnership – working with Cambridge University’s Judge Business School – says there are tough times ahead for Big Pharma and medical device companies as drug patents crash.

As these patents topple over the edge in the next few years, the presence of generics will decrease profitability. That will trigger a bonanza for new device innovation, says the UK consultancy.

The global market for advanced drug delivery systems such as inhalers, injectors and infusion pumps is predicted to grow from $139 billion in 2009 to $197 billion in 2014.

The CDP-Judge report – ‘The Future of Drug Delivery Devices’ – highlights a number of key factors likely to impact the structure of the industry in the future.

For example, the phenomenon of the ‘patent cliff’, whereby over the next few years seven of the world’s 20 top selling medicines will lose their patent protection, with hundreds more set to follow over the next decade, is likely to significantly change the nature of the generic drug sector.

Also the drug delivery device market will be significantly affected by the rise in global population combined with the aging of populations in the mature healthcare markets. Added to this is a shifting global disease burden, with the world seeing increasing dominance of non-communicable diseases, says CDP.

CDP and Judge’s groundbreaking report maps out the market dynamics and future innovations that could drive growth in the global drug delivery industry over the next five to 10 years.

The report contains input from a cross-section of top industry figures, including six senior executives from the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and two senior regulators from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Tom Oakley, head of drug delivery at CDP said: “We see the emerging economies significantly increasing demand for the ever widening range of generic drugs.

“As the capital markets follow this structural change in the pharmaceutical industry by changing their investment patterns the drug delivery sector must also adapt to take advantage of this opportunity

“We predict exciting innovations in both low and high-end devices over the next decade. Given the clear need for new technologies this report outlines how there is a good opportunity for manufactures to create valuable intellectual property and new dominant positions.”

The report also analyses opportunities in the mature healthcare markets. Oakley said: “Our Judge Business School colleagues concluded mature markets over the next 10 years will be driven by the necessity to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes.

“At first sight this sounds like a contradiction, but these market changes provide opportunities for innovation and we can see several exciting new approaches.

“We think in the future patients are going to be much more involved in their own treatments to reduce costs and smart drug delivery technologies are part of what is going to enable this change safely.

“As device developers we are going to have to think of new ways to increase the performance and safety of therapies at lower cost. We expect healthcare systems increasingly to make drug choices based on calculations of the total cost of a patient’s disease, and devices that can contribute to reducing overall costs could have significant commercial value.

“This means looking at system- level solutions integrating drug delivery, diagnostics and health informatics in new patient-centred systems.”

• The report entitled ‘The Future of Drug Delivery Devices’ is available to leading manufactures in the drug delivery industry and other interested parties. To request a copy, contact Tom Oakley at Cambridge Design Partnership on +44 (0)1223 264428 or by e-mail at tao [at] cambridge-design.co.uk

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