Report: High investment in R&D underpins increased investment in collaborative working
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly working in partnership with other firms, academia and catapults through collaborative models, in the search to discover and develop new medicines, according to a new Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) report.
The R&D Sourcebook from the ABPI reveals how this step change toward collaborative working and open innovation—a contrast to the older model of closed corporate research and development labs—continues to support the U.K. economy. The report reveals that the pharmaceutical industry in the U.K. continues to be the highest spending sector on R&D, investing £4.2 billion in 2015—equating to a fifth of all U.K. business research and development spending.
The latest figures demonstrate how pharmaceutical organizations have increased their absolute level of investment in collaborative and outsourced drug discovery in the U.K. over the last five years, with collaborations showing particular strength in oncology and rheumatology. As well as a change to investment models, the sourcebook shows an ongoing change in focus of research into new medicines. Projects and investments increasingly address unmet need, such as rare diseases and cancer, and the U.K. shows great strength in both of these areas.
The sourcebook builds on last year's “Adapting the Innovation Landscape: U.K. Biopharma R&D Sourcebook 2015.” R&D, the way that medicines are developed and the context in which this takes place within the U.K. economy through data and analysis from Clarivate Analytics.
Dr. Virginia Acha, Executive Director—Research, Medical and Innovation at the ABPI, said, "We are in a period of great change, not least with the U.K. embarking on a journey outside of the EU, but also as an industry. It is therefore vital for the future discovery and development of medicines that we continue to collaborate and explore outside of our companies, industry and sector. By focusing on open innovation, this sourcebook aims to shed light on the complex, changing face of the pharmaceutical industry."
The sourcebook considers four key areas:
Global health and the role of biopharma
- Share spent on pharmaceuticals has declined across Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries.
- K. investing the lowest percentage of healthcare expenditure on pharmaceuticals.
- K. market share for products launched in the previous five years is the lowest in OECD but the share did increase in 2015.
Investing in innovation
- The industry spent £4.2 billion in the U.K. on R&D in 2015, an increase in investment of 8%.
- Pharmaceutical R&D spend represents 20% of all business expenditure on R&D in the U.K. in 2015.
- Been a substantial growth in anticancer and immunomodulators in the share of investment, as well as tackling unmet including areas for rare diseases and anti-infectives.
Driving clinical research to deliver medicines
- Experimental medicines has been a focus for investment in the U.K. and the U.K. is competitive for experimental medicine clinical trials within Europe, a close second to Germany.
- The U.K. leads Europe on phase I clinical trials, and is competitive in phase II and phase III, closely behind leaders Germany.
- The U.K. remains a competitive site for research in oncology (second to Spain and on par with Germany and France) and the central nervous system, where the U.K. is first in Europe after a sharp upturn since 2014.
Collaborating for innovation
- The U.K. has seen an increase in partnerships between industry and a wide range of universities, and pharmaceutical companies have continued to invest in the skills of its employees, including a 106% increase in the numbers of apprenticeships.
- Collaborative research between the industry and U.K. organizations is particularly strong in oncology and rheumatology, reflecting U.K. academic strength.
- K. academic organizations collaborate with pharmaceutical researchers all over the world, including the U.S. and Europe, attracting investment and collaboration to the U.K.