Pharma Consolidation Slows CRO Market in Short Term
Pharmaceutical companies have responded to financial and market pressures by aggressively pursuing mergers and acquisitions, with the biggest being Pfizer’s planned acquisition of Wyeth. More consolidation activity is expected. The tougher economy will continue to drive change in the CRO industry during the next year. The massive layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry, along with increasing pressures for drug sponsors to control costs and improve efficiency, will result in more opportunities for CROs in the long term. Large global CROS are well-positioned to offer strategic partnerships and global services to pharmaceutical companies. In the short term, however, reduction of new projects, cancellations and delays mean that the CRO market, which had been growing at an annual rate of 15%, is expected to slow to an 8%or 9%pace this year.
CROs’ Oncology Focus Grows
Oncology is one of the key disease areas expected to dominate drug discovery and development well into the future, and CROs with strong oncology franchises should benefit from that development trend. The oncology market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12%to 15% to $80 billion in global sales by 2012. That growth rate is nearly double the forecasted growth rate of the overall pharmaceutical market, which grew at a 6.4%rate in 2007.
European CROs Off to a Running Start in 2009
Two planned acquisitions and one merger already this year indicate that European contract research organizations (CROs) in 2009 are bulking up, as market share continues to shift toward global CROs. The year started off with a bang when two Italy-based CROs, Phidea and Marvin Research, completed their merger to become Phidea Marvin. The combined company has 120 employees now, 77 of whom work at headquarters in Milan with remaining staff split between the company’s Madrid and Barcelona offices.
Eye On: Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, or chronic, progressive loss of brain function, affecting about half to nearly three quarters of all people with dementia. This degenerative disease, characterized by irreversible, progressive destruction of brain cells and by amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, gets its name from Aloïs Alzheimer, the German neurologist who first described the condition in 1907.
To read the full articles for this issue or for more information on these and other breaking stories, please click here for subscription information.