PwC: Biotechs must adapt to survive in a harsh new world

Some of the biotech experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers have some harsh news for the drug development industry. In their view the biotech business model is deeply flawed, with the life science upstarts unable to reduce the risk of development compared to pharma companies, poor returns driving investors away and emerging markets claiming a growing share of attention for R&D efforts.

But PwC is in the advice business, so it quickly follows up on the scary trends now at work with a call for the industry to reinvent itself. Specifically, the big accounting firm believes that the current move toward greater collaboration holds the greatest rewards for the industry.

"Efficiency is the name of the game and the adoption of a more collaborative approach could just be the key to unlocking this potential," said partner Jo Pisani. "Working with others accelerates and facilitates innovation, discovery and development, which in turn can reduce costs and benefit both large and smaller companies. Even small changes could yield significant savings."

How much in savings? PwC asserts that a five percent increase in success rates for each phase transition and a five percent reduction in development times could cut R&D costs by about $160 million, as well as accelerating market launch by nearly five months.

Adds partner Kate Moss: "Those that adapt quickest will invariably have more chance of success."

- read the PwC release
- and here's the report from The Independent