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    Home > Chemial News > Pharma News > Under the epidemic, 7 major trends in the global biomedical industry in 2021

    Under the epidemic, 7 major trends in the global biomedical industry in 2021

    Echemi 2021-01-20

     When forecasting the 2020 trend in 2019, no one thought that the COVID-19 would be epidemic on a large scale, causing nearly 100 million people to be infected and the global economy down. Linked to each other, the COVID-19 vaccine will be on the market within a year and will be vaccinated on a large scale, and antiviral drugs will be urgently approved for marketing... It is not a simple prediction.


    So, from the current point of view, how will the global COVID-19 epidemic go in 2021? Which field is most popular with major pharmaceutical companies? What about the investment and financing trends in the pharmaceutical industry?


    GEN, the world's most influential magazine in the field of biotechnology, has made seven predictions of trends in 2021 through interviews and observations.



    01 The COVID-19 epidemic: see the end


    On December 11, 2020, the FDA urgently approved the new crown vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNtech. As of the end of December, 1.8934 million people had been vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine; on December 18, the FDA approved a similar application for the Moderna vaccine; At the same time, on December 30, the new crown vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was also approved in the United Kingdom, and universal vaccination has begun on January 4.


    Antiviral drugs have also been urgently approved in 2020. On October 22, 2020, Gilead’s Remdesivir was approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with new coronavirus infections in adults and children over 12 years of age. Remdesivir has been authorized by the FDA for emergency use as early as May. In the third quarter, global sales of Remdesivir reached US$873 million.


    Another treatment for the new coronavirus is Regeneron's neutralizing antibody REGEN-COV2. It received emergency authorization in November. The third quarterly report of Regeneron showed its sales of 40.2 million US dollars.


    In China, on December 30, the State Food and Drug Administration approved the listing application of Sinopharm’s new crown vaccine, and then at the joint prevention and control press conference, the deputy director of the National Health Commission and the State Council’s joint prevention and joint control mechanism scientific research team were responsible for the vaccine development team Ren Zeng Yixin said that the new coronavirus vaccine will be provided free of charge to all people.


    Some analytical institutions have released research reports. With the approval of a variety of new vaccines, it is expected that the number of vaccinated people will increase by nearly 150 times, from 35 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.


    So the question is, after many vaccines worldwide are approved in 2021, where is the market space for anti-coronavirus drugs? Should the antiviral drugs under development continue to be studied to prepare for the next "great plague", who will support it?



    02 Gene therapy: major pharmaceutical companies, major transactions & patient fatalities


    If you want to say which of the areas that big pharmaceutical companies are paying attention to in 2020 will continue to ferment in 2021, gene therapy is the most likely area.


    In October 2020, Bayer announced that it intends to spend US$4 billion to acquire AskBio. AskBio has a gene therapy technology platform, and its clinical product line includes treatments for Pompe disease, Parkinson's disease and congestive heart failure, as well as undocumented clinical indications for hemophilia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


    In the same month, Novartis acquired Vedrere Bio, a developer of ocular gene therapy, for US$280 million. Roche signed a contract with Dyno Therapeutics for US$1.8 billion to use the latter’s technology platform to develop genes for central nervous system (CNS) diseases and liver-oriented treatment. Therapeutic adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector.


    On December 15, Eli Lilly and Prevail announced an acquisition agreement. Eli Lilly will acquire Prevail for US$1.04 billion. The latter is a company dedicated to the development of potential adeno-associated virus 9-based gene therapy for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Through this collection, a gene therapy project will be created to expand its research work.


    However, gene therapy has attracted attention in the four deaths of patients in 2020. In May and June, Astellas announced two deaths after high-dose AT132 gene therapy. In August, Astellas again Announcing the death of a patient of the same reason; in October, Lysogene announced the clinical trial of LYS-SAF302 AAV gene therapy, a five-year-old girl with mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA) Died during the clinical trial.


    The above-mentioned two clinical trials are still on hold, and there is no accurate prediction of the direction of 2021.


    Even so, according to the statistics of Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, between January 2020 and September 2020, the amount of financing increased by 114% to US$12 billion.



    03 Gene editing: huge cooperation


    In November 2020, Eli Lilly and Precision BioSciences, a gene editing company, reached a potential cooperation of up to 2.7 billion U.S. dollars, opening the layout of gene therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).


    A business research company released a market report on November 20 predicting that the global CRISPR technology market will grow from US$1.65 billion in 2020 to US$2.57 billion in 2023, and then jump to US$6.7 billion by 2030.


    In foreign countries, CRISPR technology is considered to be a showdown in biomedical development between China and the United States. It is called the "Sputnik 2.0" competition. According to the statistics of Science magazine, the United States holds 872 patent applications related to CRISPR. China followed closely with 858 items.



    04 Investment and financing: a large inflow of funds


    Previously, E-medicine managers had counted the investment and financing of the domestic pharmaceutical industry in 2020. In an unprecedented year, 75 companies had IPOs, which was 2.68 times the previous year. Despite the epidemic, the amount of investment and financing for the whole year was not large. Decline, the total amount disclosed in 2020 was 135 billion yuan, and in 2019 it was 164.982 billion yuan.


    The same is true abroad. GEN magazine concluded that a large amount of funds will flow into biopharmaceutical companies in 2020, and M&A and IPO activities have seen strong growth. This trend will continue in 2021.


    According to the quarterly "MoneyTree Report" published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights, in the third quarter of 2020, the amount of investment in biopharmaceutical-related industries reached a record US$5.9 billion, of which only 104 transactions in the field of biotechnology Invested 3.9 billion US dollars, more than double the 74 transactions and 1.9 billion US dollars in the third quarter of 2019.


    The IPO market also shows strong strength in 2020. EvaluatePharma's data shows that in the first three quarters of 2020, biopharmaceutical companies raised US$9.32 billion in 51 IPOs, which is a total of US$3.6 billion from 41 IPOs in the first three quarters of 2019. More than twice.


    Overall, biotechnology stocks will continue to grow during 2020. As of November 20, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index was 4,364.15 points, a 22% increase from 3,581.05 points in the same period last year.


    It is worth noting that in December 2020, Celestial Creatures and Legendary Creatures have been included in the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index.



    05 Drug development: whether a new drug for Alzheimer's disease has been approved


    What has attracted the attention of the foreign biomedical community is that the new Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab, which has undergone twists and turns in 2020, has finally submitted its marketing application, but everyone is also speculating whether the drug will be approved in 2021. Biogen’s forecast It is expected to be approved by the FDA on March 7, 2021.


    In November 2020, the FDA's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drug Advisory Committee refused to approve aducanumab because the US FDA usually requires two valid studies with supporting evidence for a drug approved by the FDA, while only one of the two phase III clinical trials of the drug Items showed positive results.



    06 Cell Therapy: Increasing speed of financing is amazing


    In 2020, MNC will also spend a lot of money on cell therapy. In September, Takeda announced that it would cut costs by approximately US$2 billion per year at the end of 2021, focusing on the research and development of drugs for tumors and rare diseases. The key to this strategy is a new generation of cell therapy. A R&D and production center of more than 2,000 square meters has been opened in Boston, which will be responsible for the clinical development of three ongoing pipeline projects, and the other two projects are expected to enter the clinical development stage by the end of 2021;


    In October, Astellas announced that it would spend US$120 million to open a research and development center focused on cell therapy in Massachusetts;


    In November, Sanofi acquired Kiadis Pharma, a Dutch cell therapy company, for a total of 308 million euros ($358 million), and obtained the latter's NK (natural killer) cell platform and products.


    The financing of cell therapy is growing at an alarming rate. According to data from Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, as of November 2020, financing for cell therapy for the whole year reached 11 billion US dollars, an increase of 242% over the same period. The number of phase I clinical trials of cell therapy increased from 41 to 50.


    In China, cell therapy is also opening a new chapter. Not long ago, Fosun Pharma’s application for the FKC876 CAR-T product, FKC876, has entered the administrative approval stage and is expected to be approved in the near future. This will become the first CAR-T therapy product in China.


    Of course, the price of CAR-T products and even cell therapy is still controversial. Novartis’ Kymriah, the world’s first CAR-T product, charges 475,000 U.S. dollars (equivalent to RMB 3.078 million) for a one-time charge, which is still not a problem for ordinary patients. A high cost of treatment.



    07 Synthetic biology: great potential


    Synthetic biology revolves around the logic of living organisms, using the laws and methods of operation, to manually "transform" organisms so that they have the required functions and values.


    According to SynBioBeta's statistics, in the first half of 2020, the total financing of synthetic biology reached US$3.041 billion, compared to only US$1.9 billion in the same period in 2019.


    Of course, the growth of synthetic biology comes from its diverse technical applications, including the aforementioned cell therapy, gene therapy, and CRISPR, all of which use synthetic biology.


    According to CB Insights analysis data, the global synthetic biology market in 2019 reached 5.3 billion US dollars. It is estimated that by 2024, compared with 2019, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the synthetic biology market will increase by 28.8% to reach USD 18.9 billion.

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