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Report outlines life science trends and priorities for 2019

A new report from the Pistoia Alliance finds that multi-disciplinary innovation, the implementation of new technologies, new approaches to research, the digitisation of R&D and healthcare, and academic contributions to biologics drug R&D are all key trends in the life sciences industry.

the Pistoia Alliance, a global, not-for-profit alliance that works to lower barriers to innovation in life sciences R&D, announced key trends for the life science industry in 2019 based on The Life Sciences Innovation Report developed with Clarivate Analytics.

‘One of the aims of The Pistoia Alliance has always been to support life science companies, and one way we do this is by helping organisations set their R&D priorities and plan their investments,’ commented Steve Arlington, president of The Pistoia Alliance. ‘Members of The Pistoia Alliance benefit from exclusive access to information from us and our partners – the Clarivate Analytics report is a good example of this. Given the Alliance’s primary goal of increasing collaboration within the life science industry and with other sectors, we are not surprised to see the link between the key trends for next year is the need for co-operation and input from a range of disciplines. We will continue to support our members to accelerate R&D innovation in 2019, and to help make progress on improving the lives of patients around the world.’

Members of The Pistoia Alliance helped to create the report, which includes analysis driven by Cortellis, a suite of intelligence solutions for drug development and commercialisation provided by Clarivate Analytics. Key contributors include executives from leading life science organisations such as Cancer Research UK, GlaxoSmithKline, AbbVie, and Diavics. The overarching theme of all emerging trends for 2019 is the continuing need for greater cross-industry collaboration to realise the potential in these areas.

‘The life sciences industry is at a real crossroads: heightened global competition, tougher regulatory standards and continued cost pressures make efficient innovation in R&D more imperative than ever,’ said Christopher McKenna, global head of Life Sciences Professional Services and Consulting at Clarivate Analytics and co-author of the report. ‘I’m encouraged by what our analysis reveals. Cross-stakeholder collaboration, new digital technologies and therapeutic approaches, and the role of cloud-based computing, among others, are having a dramatic impact on drug and device development. This will continue to expand in 2019 and beyond, enabling more – and more novel – therapies to reach the market with advancement of more permanent efficacy for patients.’

The report finds that Innovation is being driven via collaboration from multiple industry stakeholders. The emergence and development of new tools like nanosensors, bi-specific antibodies and computational biology have highlighted the success that can be achieved from collaboration between researchers and organisations across a range of disciplines. This trend which will continue in 2019.

Technologies are bring adopted to advance drug research. The report findings show budgets will continue to increase to allow for new technological advances, including the use of artificial intelligence in R&D decision making. Research from The Pistoia Alliance has already shown growth in the implementation of AI and blockchain technologies.

New types of research are coming to the forefront. Research in precision medicine, immunotherapy and the microbiome are opening up new discovery pathways. Alongside genomic research, these new approaches will provide a more refined understanding of diseases, better diagnoses and improvements to treatment.

The digitisation of Research and development and healthcare will increase.Research and development functions are already beginning to adopt large-scale use of cloud-based platforms, but this will accelerate this year. Mobile computing is poised to support the digitisation of health in combination with drug therapy, as well as through stand-alone therapies.

Academia is increasingly contributing to biologics R&D. Academia has already made significant contributions to scientific innovation across genetic and cellular therapies, with antibodies, CAR-T and CRISPR-Cas9 all leading to new approaches to potential novel biological therapies. The role of academia will become more vital as researchers look to expand on existing research.

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