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Industry investments indicate increasing trust in the newest modalities, including mRNA approaches.
As of mid-October 2023, there were 9342 clinical trial studies targeting COVID-19 (1). This is alongside 12,086 patents that relate to COVID-19 (2). Messenger RNA (mRNA) clinical trials, however, stand at only 483, with 112 related patents. mRNA was the talk of the industry during October 2023, as Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
In an interview with Pharmaceutical Technology®, Laks Pernenkil, Principal and Practice Leader, US Life Sciences, Deloitte, pointed to “an emphasis coming out of the pandemic on supply resilience … with all the ups and downs around the supply of raw materials, there has been significant focus on ensuring patients are not affected by supply shortages, part of the anxiety has manifested around inflation [rising costs] of raw materials.” Pernenkil also drew attention to increased digitalization as improving process design, supply performance, and eventually, profits (3).
At the other end of the spectrum, discovering new types of drugs and therapies, the top five pharmaceutical companies’ investments in R&D in 2022 were Roche with $14.78 Billion, J&J $14.14 billion, Pfizer $12.38 billion, Merck $11.84, and BMS $10.02 billion, ranging between 15% to 30% of income (4). Such investment speaks of self-confidence and perhaps aligns with increasing trust in the newest modalities, including mRNA approaches.
Vol. 36, No. 11
When referring to this article, please cite it as Hennessy, M. Capitalizing on Success. BioPharm International 2023 36 (11).