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WSF report claims 'brighter decade lies ahead' for biotech sector

By Alexandria Pesic, 17-Mar-2011

Related topics: Delivery technologies, Regulatory & Safety, Globalisation

World Street Fundamentals (WSF), the financial research specialist, has released two industry reports highlighting the mixed fortunes of biotech firms Biodel and MannKind, but claims a “brighter decade” lies ahead for the biotech sector.

According to WSF, the biotech market is widely expected to undergo major changes, with pharmerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region set to play a bigger role as countries such as India, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia, create more favourable regulatory environments.

The research suggests that such changes have “inevitably drawn the attention of large API product developers,” helping drive competition in these rapidly growing economies, and closing the gap between product cost and the disposable income of consumers. WSF claims this change will help drive long-term growth within the marketplace.

Fast-paced

The report goes on to predict global pharmaceutical sales will grow at a 4-7 per cent compound annual growth rate through 2013. This growth is largely driven by the increased access consumers in developing countries have to healthcare.

However, though long-term growth may be driven by these emerging economies, short-term growth, says WSF, will be fuelled by the US market, which remains the largest in the world. As a result, the focus on research and development in biotechnology, special drugs and generic drugs will “remain a strong catalyst to meet 2011 targets of $315bn (226bn) in sales volume within the United States alone.”

Drug setbacks

World Street Fundamental's predictions on the future of the biotech market were released in conjunction with reports into the current status of two of the United States' largest biopharmaceutical companies, Biodel and MannKind.

Both companies have suffered recent setbacks in bringing their novel insulin drugs to market.

In January, MannKind's lead product candidate, the next-generation insulin inhaler, Afrezza, was denied FDA approval after questions were raised about the company's “Dreamboat” delivery system. The decision caused MannKind's share prices to tumble, prompting job cuts and concerns over the company's financial stability.

Meanwhile, Biodel's diabetes drug, Linjeta, was also denied FDA approval after regulators demanded it undergo a further series of clinical trials using the drug's commercial formulation.

The FDA also requested the Connecticut, US-based company provide additional data related to Linjeta's stability and the manufacturing of its final formula after concerns were raised following site inspections at its manufacturing plants.