The biologics segment, already growing in importance before the COVID-19 pandemic, is expanding even faster in its wake with respect to both the level of investment and the number of new startups. PCI Pharma Services is keeping pace with the changes and remaining focused on addressing the growing need for outsourcing support by these new small and medium-sized biopharmaceutical companies.
COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Greater Investment in Biologics R&D
Interest and investment in biologic drugs were accelerating before the COVID-19 pandemic because biologics offer a richness of new avenues for treating disease. With their ability to bind to receptors and interact with specific cells, targeted therapies operating by entirely new mechanisms of action are possible. The value of biologics became even more prevalent during the race to develop vaccines and therapeutics against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The pandemic provided a new global lens through which investors viewed the healthcare sector. There is an even greater case today for investment in healthcare and specifically in research and development of new drug candidates, most notably biologics and large molecules.
While the majority of approved drugs on the market are formulated with small molecule APIs, the rate at which small molecule drug candidates are entering the clinic is decelerating. Drugs based on biomolecules, on the other hand, are growing in number at an accelerating rate. There’s only a finite period of time until biologics will dominate the market.
This trend toward biologics and greater investment in small and emerging biotech companies is clearly reflected by our experience at PCI Pharma Services. In the last year alone, we have welcomed 50% more new customers — not customers switching from one CDMO to another, but new entrants into the market — than we have had in any previous year.