Time and time again, the Life Sciences industry demonstrates just how resilient it truly is. This four-part series
will cover the key ingredients to the cocktail – growth, innovation,
investment, and career opportunities – and how when shaken together, it’s
simply too good to miss out on!
Over the last few
years, the Life Sciences industry has seen exponential growth and with that,
the landscape is forever changed. It’s no surprise that the pandemic years
really underscored the value of Life Sciences, but innovation, creativity, and
forward-thinking have long been central to its identity.
I’m sure you’d agree that health and the care of it is complex,
fast-paced, and constantly evolving, but it’s because of qualities such as
these that the industry is possibly the most robust in the world. Of course,
there are many other high-growth industries to be a part of, but what makes
Life Sciences so unique is its ability to persevere.
Industries such as Oil & Gas, Financial Services, and
Technology have been labelled in the top 5 most volatile sectors in the world
according to S&P Global. Healthcare, on the other hand, is less affected by
the wider geopolitical and economic conditions because, as the pandemic
highlighted, we rely on Life Sciences above all.
Although each space within Life Sciences is connected by the
common goal of promoting global health, longevity, and intrinsically
benefitting society, within each market exists its own micro-climate and with
that comes its own opportunities and challenges.
So, with demand for lab space now four times more than recorded
back in 2016, 71% of companies planning to increase their workforce, and the
2022 Edelman Trust Barometer reporting that globally, trust in healthcare has
returned to a record high, let’s take a look at the different Life Sciences
markets Meet cover and understand exactly why they are so resilient…
Pharmaceuticals & BioTechnology
In recent decades, the pharmaceutical industry has made
great strides in addressing a wide range of diseases, many of which were once
terminal. In the course of these transformational years, healthcare has
developed into an incredibly competitive and noisy market. In fact, in the last
two decades, the worldwide value of pharmaceutical goods traded has grown
sixfold, from $113 billion in 2000 to $629 billion in 2019.
But what about now, in 2022, I hear you ask. According
to RSM’s analysis, the total capital raised in 2020 and 2021 is greater than
the total capital raised in the four years prior. That means more money is flowing
into the space, allowing biopharmas to continue the important research and
development of treatments and therapies without the added pressure of having to
immediately raise more capital.
Speaking of progress, the biopharma industry is
rapidly adopting new drug discovery tools, which only speeds up their research
and helps to differentiate companies from their peers. And why is that? You
see, a traditional drug discovery process can take up to 4-5 years to identify
a single candidate, but innovative AI-powered tools can now identify 10-20
potential candidates in as little as 8 months! Certainly, these novel tools
require significant investment, but that huge reduction in development time
allows biopharmas to advance swiftly out of the lab and into the clinic.
Just think about it: historically, it would
typically take 10-15 years for drugs to come to market. Nowadays, due to
smarter processes, the development of drugs and treatment is sped up, meaning
more patients can be treated in a shorter timeframe. It’s optimising these
modern processes that will fundamentally change the drug development paradigm,
which in turn creates the demand for more jobs to be filled and drives the
ever-growing trend of collaboration between companies, which brings us on to
our next market vertical…
CROs, or Clinical Research Organisations, the companies
that provide critical support to their pharma partners have been around for
decades, but it’s only within the past few years that CROs have grown as their
own force within the Life Sciences industry.
It’s been a natural progression since many pharma
and biotech’s supply chains have become gradually more global and complex. In
fact, some supply chains are now so intricate that they begin in Asia and
circumnavigate the globe twice! My next point you’ve probably guessed already;
this is outrageously expensive, and a lot of companies simply don’t have the
in-house expertise for many of these challenges.
So, in order to manage costs and drive growth, more
and more biopharma companies are outsourcing – and that's the silver lining for
CROs. It all started when big pharma’s research and development costs skyrocketed,
and well-known giants such as Pfizer and Sanofi began turning to CROs to help
with the pressure. That fast began the trend and soon many others followed
suit, which led to the global rise of drug development outsourcing.
In a nutshell, the challenges pharmas and biotechs
are facing only positively impact the CRO market by driving growth and
security. Actually, the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) is expected to be 9%
for CROs between 2020-2024! What’s more, CROs can support larger biopharmas by
adding new modalities and exploring unconventional ways to reach patients, so
it’s a win-win for everyone!
No matter what industry you’re a part of, I’m sure
you’ll agree that technological innovations have completely reshaped our way of
working, and it’s no different for MedTech! In fact, why MedTech is so
resilient is largely because of its modernism and the cross-pollination of
rapidly evolving tech and Life Sciences.
In 2021 alone, the research and development spend
for MedTech nearly doubled to over $50 billion, driven by competitive
challenges brought about by the advent of new digital and remote monitoring
tools. Not only that, but worldwide sales grew by a whopping 14% and exceeded
$500 billion for the first time ever! Of course, a portion of that growth is
down to device sales related to COVID-19 testing, but the remainder is
attributed to growth across nearly all other device types.
But why has there been a surge in demand for medical
devices? This growth fundamentally comes down to supporting an aging population
along with a surge in people battling chronic illnesses; according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 out of 10 Americans now live with
at least 1 chronic illness! To help these individuals with the treatment and
management of their conditions, wearable monitoring devices, drug delivery
systems, and other MedTech devices are extremely important. As we now live in
the digital age, the rapid pace of technological advancements will only
continue to improve the effectiveness of these devices and drive the demand for
them even higher.
Even now, emerging technologies are allowing
start-ups to develop, validate and manufacture wearable devices that are
cheaper than what was previously achievable. Do you know what else fuels that
growth? Direct-to-consumer products, like that little glass screen on your
wrist that tracks your fitness, your sleep, and your blood oxygen levels. It’s
these types of commercialised products that allow investors to earn a quicker ROI,
and as FDA approvals for these devices grow, so will investment into the
Looking towards the future, records are forecasted
to be beaten again and again as new product development continues to
accelerate, and the private capital sector continues to invest heavily into
digitised health. From a statistical standpoint, MedTech's CAGR is expected to
grow by 5% between 2020-2024.
So, we’ve covered the pioneering work within
research and development of drugs and devices, but what’s the use in that work
if doesn’t reach the right people and the right places? Well, that’s where
Medical Communications comes into play.
In today’s Life Sciences landscape, it’s hard to
imagine a world without MedComms, but historically, it was seen as merely a
support function. Nowadays, it’s regarded as a strategic function with
ever-growing prominence as the public becomes increasingly aware of their own
health and has more direct access to information than ever before with content
coming from a wide variety of channels.
What used to get done by in-house teams now requires
specialist expertise who are known for their agility to adapt to the needs of
different clients and markets. Since the Life Sciences industry is dominated by
stringent regulation, rising costs, and high levels of competition, it’s
imperative that specialist MedComms are onboard to dissect clinical data and
turn it into a coherent and compelling message. The goal of this is to
stimulate awareness and discussion of new devices, drugs, and treatments to
either educate audiences or complete a sale. As tech continues to transform how
we communicate and digest information, it also means that medical data can be reached
and understood by broader audiences without the constraints of
As you might have expected, MedComms is without a
doubt a high-growth sector (with a predicted CAGR of 10.3% by 2026) that adds
considerable value to Life Sciences. The sector’s thriving reputation has led
to a huge bump in mergers and acquisitions, as demand for the services is
growing and more companies are outsourcing and investing in their
communications. This upward trend not only falls in line with the evolution of
broadcasting mediums but also with the complexity of treatments, therapies, and
medical devices as more specialised products come to market.
In fact, in 2020, annual reports for AstraZeneca,
Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer all showed that their total budgets for
marketing, selling and admin almost doubled what they spent on research and
development! Initially, it seems surprising, but when you think about it,
MedComms is a critical part of a successful product launch as they have the
power to expand geographical reach and tailor medical content for different
audiences, whether that be patients or healthcare professionals. What’s more,
if consumer awareness is only growing and communication channels evolving, when
looking toward the future for MedComms, it’s safe to say it’s a field with
Life Sciences has never been a boring industry to be
a part of, but as of 2022, the industry is booming, and developments are only
going to lead to some enormously exciting changes in the world of healthcare –
who doesn’t want to be a part of that?! Contact Us today to
discover your next role in Life Sciences!
Don't miss part 2 of this series, The Resilience of Life Sciences: The Covid-19 Effect, as we delve into the true effects the pandemic has had on the Life Sciences industry. Alternatively, head straight over to part 3, The Resilience of Life Sciences: The War For Talent, where we dive head first into the current job market for each of our market verticals, followed by our final piece in the series, Resilience of Life Sciences: Creative Ways Businesses Can Win The War For Talent.