Thoughts from the Centre

Biotechnology in Thoughts from the Centre

What is the outlook for the global life sciences industry in 2021?

By Dr Maria João Cruz, PhD, Assistant Manager, and Emily May, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions


Each year, Deloitte produces a report exploring the outlook for the life sciences sector. This year’s report, 2021 global life sciences outlook: Possibility is now reality, sustaining forward momentum, explores the many ways COVID-19 has accelerated change for the life sciences and MedTech sectors and what can be reimagined and made better. As a result of the pandemic, novel technologies that were expected to advance over a decade were adopted in a few months, weeks, and sometimes, even days and many organisations embraced this unprecedented pace of change. This week’s blog covers highlights from the report, with a specific focus on how sustaining and institutionalising new ways of working, collaborating and operating digitally, can help companies succeed and contribute towards a more compassionate and equitable world.

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Posted on 11/06/2021 | 0 Comments

Measuring the return from pharmaceutical innovation– have the seeds of change been sown?

By Dr Maria João Cruz, PhD, Assistant Manager, UK Centre for Health Solutions, and Sonal Shah, Senior Manager, US Center for Health Solutions


This week we launched Seeds of change: Measuring the return from pharmaceutical innovation 2020, the 11th report in our series on biopharmaceutical (biopharma) R&D. Since 2010, we have provided insights into the state of biopharma R&D by tracking the returns that leading global biopharma companies might expect to achieve from their late-stage pipelines. While the past few years has seen an increase in breakthrough advances in science and technology, the growing complexity of development and longer cycle times have reduced the average internal rate of return (IRR) for the cohort of companies covered by our research and placed mounting pressures on the industry. In addition, over the past 16 months, the search for treatments and vaccines against the COVID-19 virus have galvanised innovation at an unprecedented pace and scale. At the same time, many non-COVID-19 clinical trials have been delayed or even halted. This week’s blog explores our 2020 report findings and how companies can realise a productive future for drug development.

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Posted on 28/05/2021 | 0 Comments

The cost-effectiveness of biosimilars and their future potential for the NHS

By Emily May, Research Analyst, and Karen Taylor, Director, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions


Biosimilars are biological medicines made or derived from living organisms and comprise complex molecules that are highly similar and therapeutically equivalent to an approved reference biologic. As original biologics lose their patent protection, companies can develop biosimilar medicines in a shorter time frame and price them at around 20-30 per cent lower.1 The increased competition generated has the potential to deliver significant savings to healthcare systems. At last month’s Westminster Health Forum on ‘Priorities for biosimilars in the NHS2 we discussed biosimilar competition, cost-effectiveness and access. This week’s blog summarises our related research on the benefits, market position and future implications of biosimilars for healthcare stakeholders.

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Posted on 21/05/2021 | 0 Comments

Why people mistrust the biopharma industry and what to do about it

By Karen Taylor, Director, and Maria João Cruz, PhD, Assistant Research Manager, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions


Trust is critical for the biopharma industry, from influencing their chances of gaining and maintaining customers to their ability to recruit talent. Consumer’s trust in biopharma also gives the industry the incentive to innovate to provide life-saving therapies. Yet, biopharma still ranks as one of the least trusted industries, even though consumer polls show that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped improved trust. In January 2021, Deloitte’s US and UK Centres for Health Solutions conducted consumer research, using digital focus group discussions in four countries (the US, UK, India and South Africa) seeking to answer crucial questions around consumer trust in pharma. This week marks the launch of our research report, Overcoming biopharma’s trust deficit: Why people mistrust the biopharma industry – and what to do about it, and this blog highlights our take on the report and what companies can do to build and maintain trust.

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Posted on 07/05/2021 | 0 Comments

Intelligent drug launch and commercial: Optimising value through AI

By Dr. Maria João Cruz, PhD, Assistant Research Manager, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions

April 23

This week marks the launch of the fifth report in our Intelligent biopharma series, which highlights the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in accelerating and driving digital transformation across the biopharma value chain. This report, Intelligent drug launch and commercial: Optimising value through AI, focuses on how companies can use AI to radically change and improve drug launches and their commercial models. The report also reflects on the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of commercial teams, including adapting new marketing and engagement channels to meet the needs of the different stakeholders.

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Posted on 23/04/2021 | 0 Comments

The impact of COVID-19 in biopharma: Breaking through barriers to digitization

By Leena Gupta, manager, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services, LP


Next week will mark a full year since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, over 116 million cases have been reported globally and around 2.6 million people have lost their lives.1 In addition to its mounting human and societal impact, COVID-19 has significantly impacted most businesses and sectors, including the biopharmaceutical (biopharma) industry. This week, we share a blog by our colleague Leena Gupta, Manager at the US Center for Health Solutions, which explores how the pandemic has impacted biopharma’s various functions across the value chain and the strategies that have been adopted to help the industry respond and, ultimately, thrive. While Leena’s blog and research focussed on primarily on US policies, there are wider lessons that all geographies could benefit from. Over to Leena.

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Posted on 05/03/2021 | 0 Comments

Accessing cell and gene therapies – meeting the needs of rare disease patients

By Lukasz Kaczynski, Senior Manager, Monitor Deloitte Switzerland, and Patricia Gee, Director, Monitor Deloitte Switzerland


February 28 2021 is the 14th International Rare Disease Day. To mark the occasion communities from across the world come together to raise awareness among the public and policy makers about rare diseases and their impact on the lives of patients and families.1 Rare diseases are heterogeneous in nature, and geographically disparate, few are preventable or curable, most are chronic and progressive, and many are life-threatening. While there is no universal definition of rare diseases, in 2019, a comprehensive research study of the Orphanet database2 estimated that there are some 6,200 rare diseases affecting some 3.5 to 5.9 per cent of the global population, a total of approximately 263 to 446 million people. Around 72 per cent of these rare diseases are genetic with 70 per cent starting in childhood.3  Today, transformative cell and gene therapies (CGTx), with the potential to address and often eliminate the underlying cause of a genetic disease, bring hope to patients and families affected by rare diseases.

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Posted on 26/02/2021 | 0 Comments

Digitized, interconnected supply chains could revolutionize pharmaceuticals…but are pharma companies ready?

By Justine Lelchuk, managing director, and Neal Batra, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP


As we highlighted in our report Intelligent drug supply chain: Creating value from AI, biopharma companies can capitalise on digital transformation strategies to build-up agility and better respond to shocks to their supply chains. This week, we share a blog by Justine Lelchuk, US Process Intelligence Lead, and Neal Batra, Life Sciences Strategy and Global Future of Health Lead, where they explore how biopharma companies can thrive over the next decade through the implementation of interconnected, digital supply chains.

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Posted on 12/02/2021 | 0 Comments

2021 outlook for life sciences: Six reasons the sector is stronger than ever

By Mike DeLone, US life sciences leader, Deloitte LLP

Predictions cover

This week I thought I would share with you a blog by Mike DeLone, the national sector leader for Deloitte’s US Life Sciences practice. Back in July, when we were just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I shared Mike’s blog explaining how inspired he was by life sciences companies and the sector as a whole. In this follow-up blog Mike explains how optimistic and grateful he is that the sentiment and emotion he felt was well placed. Specifically, that hopes of the world that were placed in the hands of companies developing vaccines, diagnostics, and therapies, have had such positive results. As Mike notes, some six months on, he continues to feel inspired, highlighting that at least two antiviral drugs and two COVID-19 vaccines have been given emergency use authorisation in the US, as well as regulators approving an at-home COVID-19 test and new therapeutics to treat the disease. Mike’s clear articulation as to why he felt inspired resonated strongly with me back in July and like Mike I continue to feel inspired and indeed optimistic, especially that the six trends he identifies will lead to better ways of working, more effective collaboration and the adoption of innovations. Over to Mike.

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Posted on 05/02/2021 | 0 Comments

Healthcare and life sciences unmasked: A future accelerated by COVID-19

By Karen Taylor, Director, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions


Over the last few weeks of 2020 we published a series of ten predictions on what the future of healthcare and life sciences looks like in 2025. Each prediction follows the same format, including a number of ‘portraits’ imagining the experience of individuals and organisations in 2025, the evidence today that enables us to predict tomorrow and the common constraints that need to be overcome to realise the prediction. We also considered how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected each prediction. Subsequently, we brought all of the predictions together in one report: The future unmasked: Predicting the future of healthcare and life sciences in 2025 and launched a podcast with senior leaders from our life sciences and healthcare practice discussing how the predictions affect their parts of the industry. I have used this first blog of 2021 to examine the cross cutting constraints that need to be overcome to realise our view of the future.

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Posted on 08/01/2021 | 0 Comments