White Paper

The State Of Innovation In Europe

Source: Citeline

By Daniel Chancellor, Thought Leadership and Consulting Director, Citeline

Europe Globe Map Data GettyImages REV-1319209608

As pharma dealmakers, biotech executives, and investors all convene in Leipzig, Germany for the first in-person BIO-Europe in three years, the life sciences landscape is in a very different place. European companies played a leading role in the pandemic response, from developing innovative new vaccine technologies, to manufacturing billions of doses, through to an unprecedented scale up in diagnostic capabilities. This occurred against the backdrop of record levels of investment in the sector, spanning both public money and venture capital, supporting the promise of exciting new drug development platforms and therapeutic capabilities.

It has certainly been a busy time in the business development world, although this should not distract or detract from the persisting, fundamental challenges that drug developers in Europe face. The pharmaceutical industry is very much global, and innovation is a critical export. Europe is losing ground at this level, with a declining stake in global R&D. As this white paper shows, Europe’s innovative pipeline has reached a plateau, and is underexposed to high-growth areas such as oncology, cell and gene therapy. While investment is at all-time highs, this is targeted towards mature companies, rather than entrepreneurial start-ups that are more at home in the US.

Pipelines and partnerships are the lifeblood of the pharmaceutical industry and dictate its The State of Innovation in Europe Daniel Chancellor Thought Leadership and Consulting Director, Citeline Introduction 2 / October 2022 © Pharma Intelligence UK Ltd 2022 (Unauthorized photocopying prohibited.) future direction. With a declining stake in these, Europe runs the risk of the pharmaceutical industry being increasingly molded in the image of others. Emphasis on the US market opportunity is only increasing, biasing R&D towards high cost innovations that are reimbursed by private healthcare. The rise of Chinese innovation and low-cost, fast-follower therapies threatens to squeeze Europe in the middle, where price controls have resulted in resistance towards new product launches.

European biopharmaceutical companies still have a hugely important role to play in the global innovation ecosystem. Europe may no longer match the US in scale, and find its position challenged by emerging markets, but it has a central role in partnering and possesses notable structural and scientific strengths. This paper reveals the current state of innovation in Europe, from pipeline constitution to emerging drug modalities, R&D alliances to financing trends. The narrative is supported by data and analysis from Citeline’s proprietary, gold-standard industry sources, including Pharmaprojects and Biomedtracker.


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