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How can Pharma & Biotech Organisations Prevent a Future Pandemic?

With 2022 coming to an end, let’s explore what the Pharmaceutical and Biotech space can do to prevent prospects of a future pandemic from occurring. 

The Biopharma industry has always played a pivotal role in medicine, vaccines and therapies. Despite this we have really felt the prevalence of this industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Biopharma finding itself at the centre of widespread attention globally. Amid this period, Pharma and Biotech organisations took to the labs from the outset, mapping out the COVID genome and rolling out the very first vaccine to tackle the virus within the first 9 months. 

The Biopharmaceutical industry focus 

Since the initial outbreak of the virus, the Biopharmaceutical industry has been working to ensure a high level of readiness against a future pandemic, consolidating grounded knowledge of precautionary measures and medicines. A consensus we can see throughout this industry, in response to questions of a future pandemic, is that it cannot and will not be approached with a ‘business as usual’ mindset. The goal is to incentivise a robust system that ensures a strong research and development investment which targets pathogens that inhabit pandemic potential. A portfolio built on this system will catalyse the process of identifying those promising vaccines and treatments, as well as the state-of-the-art technologies that will play a role in this. 

What are companies doing? 

This industry, more than any other, is aware of the importance we must place on ensuring the highest safety protocols are in place to prevent and be prepared against the prospects of another pandemic. The likes of Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Takeda have already initiated engagement with pre-emptive R&D for emerging infectious diseases, in addition to the focus on COVID-19. Between 20 companies observed for the 2022 Index, it was found that four preventive vaccines and ten medicines were registered and approved for COVID-19. The rapid development and authorisation of vaccines and medicines for the COVID virus indicates that the Biopharmaceutical industry is readily responsive to public health emergencies. The pandemic has significantly altered drug development strategies throughout the industry, with more companies focusing on new priorities, preventive measures and collaborative approaches. Patient centricity is now at the forefront of many organisations and there is a keen focus on driving on greater engagement and better managing conditions in post pandemic times.

What are we going to see in 2023? 

There is plenty to celebrate in the Life Sciences industry, considering the rate at which progressive healthcare techniques, advanced technologies and new medicines have been developing in the last decade. The last 12 months have been transformative for the drug development industry, providing Biotech and Biopharma companies with greater motivations to follow in this year’s footsteps for 2023. Majority of Biopharma companies are now focusing on embracing new technologies that will catalyse drug substance and drug product development, enforce adaptive trial designs and utilise the digital landscape to better access market data. 

Scientific innovation and progression over the last couple of years has driven medicinal and therapeutic development at extraordinary speed and the Biopharmaceutical industry response has played a critically centralised role in the development and manufacturing of safe and effective treatments. Going forward into the new year - continued collaboration, a focus on pre-emptive R&D and regulatory flexibility will play a key role in proactively planning against a future pandemic. 

Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences headhunting organisation. To find out how we can assist with your business requirements, contact Zilan Keskin on +44 2038 547700 or zilan.keskin@mantellassociates.com.