A growing healthcare demand and new technologies are transforming the pharmaceutical industry. Are you aware?
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COVID-19 has put the global pharmaceuticals industry into the spotlight with the world urgently working towards a breakthrough in the fight against the pandemic.
But while we all focus on the pandemic and make our contribution to overcome it, there have been challenges for the global pharma market prior to COVID-19 and there will be beyond. How are we going to tackle them?
300 million more people
The Global Population is Aging
Over the next three decades, the number of elderly people aged 65 or over worldwide is projected to double to more than 1.5 billion people in 2050. As a result, chronic conditions are on the rise and patients are often suffering from more than just one ailment.1
This development is intensified due to the growing middle-class and increasing adoption of sedentary lifestyles in emerging markets, leading to obesity, diabetes, and other costly health conditions. In China – the second largest pharmaceutical market globally – the proportion of the population aged 60 years and over will increase to 28% in 2040 (from 12.4% in 2010).3 Chronic noncommunicable disease prevalence such as cardiovascular diseases or cancer are expected to increase by at least 40% by 2030 and to account for almost 80% of all deaths in people aged 60 years or over.3
A CAGR of 4-5 percent
With chronic diseases on the rise, the demand for healthcare and innovative solutions is growing globally.
At the same time, digitalization, big data and artificial intelligence accelerate the transformation of the pharmaceutical industry and enable companies to improve drug development and patient care beyond the treatment of diseases, offering new revenue streams. For patient care, digital solutions enable the shift from a disease focus to an integrated approach from prevention, screening, diagnostic, treatment and aftercare.
Further, technological progress and new therapeutic approaches have the potential to not only treat, but ultimately cure diseases – or identify and remove risk factors before a disease develops. Part of this development are personalized therapies, a promising approach tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. Novel associations between the human microbiome, health and disease are constantly emerging, leading to new diagnostics and therapeutics and thus enhancing personalized medicine.
Other medical innovations such as precision medicine, cell and gene therapy and immuno-oncology are fueling new ways of prevention and detection with the potential to revolutionize the treatment of many diseases. Oncology, for instance, is still the world’s largest pharmaceutical therapeutic area with broad unmet needs and will most likely benefit from these novel therapies and innovation. However, the opportunities extend way beyond oncology to other therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, central nervous system, immunology, and rare diseases.
As a leading life science company, Bayer is aligned with the long-term market trends in health and nutrition and offers innovative and sustainable solutions to tackle some of the key challenges for humanity. In Pharma, Bayer has leading positions in cardiovascular disease, women’s health care, ophthalmology and radiology, and invests significantly into oncology and cell and gene therapy platforms as well as digital health. Ultimately, Bayer strives to be at the forefront of fighting some of the most common diseases of our time with high unmet medical need to address the growing global demand for innovative healthcare solutions.
Did you know that Bayer’s late-stage pipeline is set to treat diseases with high unmet medical need?
Our pipeline has promising candidates with the potential to be blockbusters in Cardiovascular, Oncology and Women’s Health and is set out to treat heart failure, chronic kidney disease in people with type-2 diabetes, prostate cancer, and vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause – to name just a few. Bayer is currently7 advancing approximately 50 projects through the clinic – especially in areas of high unmet medical need.
A Promising Pipeline
Commercialization and potential sales are dependent on several factors including the successful completion of the regulatory processes.
Did you know that Bayer is at the forefront of bringing breakthrough innovation in cell and gene therapies to patients around the globe?
Bayer has recently invested heavily in cell and gene therapies, spending up to 5 billion Euro on new acquisitions and partnerships. Today, Bayer is at the forefront of exploring new therapeutic methods in this emerging growth market. Cell and gene therapies have the potential to revolutionize modern therapeutics as they may offer the possibility to address the root cause of a disease. In cell therapy, functional cells are delivered into a patient’s body in order to prevent, manage or cure a certain illness or to repair and regenerate damaged cells. Gene therapy aims to treat or cure a disease by delivering genetic material into a patient's cells. This way, cells which have been lacking the correct instructions to work properly, receive the genetic information that will allow them to restore their function.
Bayer is strongly committed to leading the field of cell and gene therapies. To this end, we are strengthening our internal capabilities while simultaneously pursuing external strategic collaborations, technology acquisitions and licensing across different therapeutic areas. Our newly established Cell and Gene Therapy (C>) Platform strategically steers our efforts in the area. It brings the best of Biotech and Pharma together: The companies operate autonomously and are fully accountable to develop and progress their portfolio and technology. At the same time, Bayer provides them with the necessary experience and know-how across multiple stages of the entire value chain, for example for approval processes and commercialization to turn the science into tangible products for patients. Our C> pipeline is comprised of eight advanced assets in different stages of clinical development and over 15 preclinical candidates.7
Among the C> platform’s portfolio are the Bayer acquisitions BlueRock Therapeutics and Asklepios BioPharmaceutica (AskBio) – both with promising approaches for treating and potentially curing diseases with high unmet medical need.
BlueRock Therapeutics is a leading engineered cell therapy company working to develop regenerative medicines for intractable diseases. BlueRock’s technology seeks to restore tissue function in diseases with significant cell loss and diminished self-repair potential, with an initial focus on neurological and cardiovascular conditions.
BlueRock recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared their Investigational New Drug application to proceed with a Phase I study in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease – a big step forward for the stem cell field.
AskBio is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research, development and manufacturing of gene therapies across different therapeutic areas – Bayer’s newest addition to the C> platform. With a breakthrough technique developed by founder Dr. Richard Jude Samulski, AskBio uses a non-pathogenic virus as a vehicle to deliver functional genes to cells. This approach aims at treating diseases on the molecular level and thereby fixing the underlying cause of the disease – leading to potentially life-changing therapeutics for patients.
Did you know that Bayer is building a holistic digital health business?
Digital technologies and the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data in pharma have the potential to transform the value chain – from drug discovery to clinical decision making and ongoing patient management – as well as evolving conventional healthcare approaches.
Already today, Bayer is set to tap into the potential of these technologies. Together with Blackford Analysis, Bayer is working on an AI platform for medical imaging, where digital applications will be made available to support radiologists. One example for this is an AI powered software that assists radiologists. One of such AI-powered applications is currently being developed together with Merck & Co.. Using pattern recognition that is based on deep learning methodology, the algorithm helps detect chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) on CT scans and thereby aims at driving earlier diagnosis and treatment improving outcomes for patients suffering from this severe disease.
The opportunities to provide benefits to patients go beyond diagnosis. The combination of conventional healthcare approaches with digital technologies can make a real difference – especially in the context of integrated care, the general concept of taking a holistic approach to disease management. Leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and vast amounts of data, integrated care aims to help people regain control over their health through predictive, proactive and personalized actionable insights delivered through digital applications.
Integrated Care is a key element of Bayer Pharma’s digital business strategy. Together with our partner, the digital health company Informed Data Systems, Inc (“One Drop”), we are jointly creating new digital health offerings that help patients in the areas of cardiovascular disease, women’s health and oncology. Experts from both companies are jointly working on the first two modules, which are to become available within a year. In doing so, OneDrop and Bayer are building on One Drop’s existing diabetes management platform, which has been downloaded more than 3 million times since 2016.
1 United Nations (2020), World Population Ageing 2019
2 United Nations (2020), World Population Prospects 2019
3 World Health Organization (2015), China country assessment report on aging and health
4 IQVIA (2020)
5 McKinsey (2020), 2020 Oncology Market Outlook
6 Overall for heme, metastatic for solid. Patient size calculated as annual incidence for heme, and larger of mortality and metastatic incidence for solid.
McKinsey (2020), 2020 Oncology Market Outlook
7 As of March 1st, 2021