Will this stay or will this go? Pharmaceutical R&D Trends post Covid19.


Will this stay or will this go? Pharmaceutical R&D Trends post Covid19.

We need to win over the #covid19, especially as the world is bracing for the 2nd wave. The quest for a vaccine continues, with nearly 200 vaccine candidates in development and 39 in human clinical trials with 9 in Phase III.

It is extraordinary to see pharma-biotech collaborations and even embrace between the rivals, including SANOFI and GSK. Sometimes a biotech would collaborate with more than one pharma such as BIONTECH is testing one novel messenger RNA vaccine with PFIZER, in New York, and the second with SHANGHAI FOSUN PHARMACEUTICAL.

Promising clinical-stage biotech companies: MODERNA and  INOVIO PHARMACEUTICALS have entered into clinical trials, with Inovio’s trial being put on hold by FDA at moment. All eyes are on the combo nearing the finishing line – Pfizer-BioNTech, who like Moderna are developing messenger RNA vaccines that instruct the body’s cells to produce proteins that will prevent infection unlike traditional that stimulate immunity by exposing the organism to a weaker form of the virus. With the promising Phase 1 results, we will be holding out breath till about March 2021!

As for manufacturing, AstraZeneca is in the lead and ready to supply 3 billion doses of vaccines with many others building their facilities too.

The late comers into the space, JOHNSON & JOHNSON is in please 3 clinical study of JNJ-78436735, also known as Ad26.COV2.S, gathering 60,000 people (currently paused to due to unexpected illness) and NOVAVAX  started a phase 3 test of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.K. of its NanoFlu, the nanoparticle-based influenza vaccine gets approved by FDA as it could generate peak annual sales of around $1.7 billion.

Drug-makers are joining forces like never before. This is not for the time of the pandemic. This may be forever.

No doubt, we are seeing the industry change with R&D time and cost optimization, which hopefully will bring more successes!

Will some of the collaborations ands trends forged today stay beyond the pandemic?

Based on the first-hand experience of supporting clinical research in the last few months, here are some of our predictions of the key trends which will hold beyond 2020:

  1. Embracing wider geographic set-up, even in early phase trials to de-risk and accelerate drug development. With our imaging sites located globally, it was fascinating to see how recruitment was rising in Hong Kong while Europe was on a lock-down or patients being diverted from one US state to another due to the new restrictions imposed sometimes  overnight. Those companies who had global trials, no doubt, had a better chance of completing the recruitment during the pandemic.


  1. An increase in the utilization of cloud platforms that can connect trial stakeholders to the data. With everyone, especially in healthcare industry concerned about safeguarding patients and employees, there is no other way! Specifically, to IAG’s expertise, we believe that platform solution technologies, including imaging-based platforms, like IAG’s DYNAMIKA will become more and more instrumental in drug development.


  1. Embracing real-world data to better understand the novel drug efficacy. We already use publicly available databases for benchmarking and baselining of ‘normal subjects or placebo groups’. This information helps to understand the patient response and disease manifestations when some is on the ‘standard of care treatment’, thus saving the time when modelling expected or early response for many drug combinations! There are so many publicly available databases for poorly understood diseases such as osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s. With a restricted number of patients available for the trials right now, we use this data, together with AI and Machine Leaning to optimize trial designs and build critical mechanisms for identification of early patient response.


  1. Making decisions even when the dataset is small or incomplete. Changing conventional patient reported outcomes and increasing the use of novel imaging approaches as surrogate markers for prognostication and prediction of long-term outcomes. As well as supporting accelerated objective decisions on drug performance.

Specifically, to IAG’s field of expertise, the global market for multimodal imaging is experiencing an exponential increase and is projected to reach USD 2.9 billion by 2024 from USD 2.3 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2019 to 2024. This is attributable to growing clinical applications of multimodal imaging systems, favourable reimbursement including growing insurance coverage, and technological advancements in imaging modalities, tracers and contrast agents.

We believe that post-covid the strength of forged collaborations and further investments into AI and data sciences will continue to be the bridge between drug development and use of highly advanced technologies to aid clinical practice and drug development, leading to a formidable change in the way we develop and use new medicines and deliver then to the patients.

With IAG’s vision of ‘To make a difference to the millions of patients needing better treatments fast’, we work with pharma and  biotech players on accelerate novel drug development by bringing the right analytical tools and modern trial infrastructure. IAG team thrives to build long-lasting trusted relationships with our partners, as we believe that working closely together will allow reduce the risks associated with innovative R&D, increase chances of success in trials and ultimately impact millions of lives.  


About Image Analysis Group (IAG)

IAG, Image Analysis Group is a unique partner to life sciences companies. IAG leverages expertise in medical imaging and the power of Dynamika™ – our proprietary cloud-based platform, to de-risk clinical development and deliver lifesaving therapies into the hands of patients much sooner.  IAG provides early drug efficacy assessments, smart patient recruitment and predictive analysis of advanced treatment manifestations, thus lowering investment risk and accelerating study outcomes. IAG bio-partnering takes a broader view on asset development bringing R&D solutions, operational breadth, radiological expertise via risk-sharing financing and partnering models.

Learn more:  www.ia-grp.com

Reach out: imaging.experts@ia-grp.com

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Engage with our team

Dr. Olga Kubassova, CEO: www.linkedin.com/in/olgakubassova/

David Chia, CCO: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jahyungdavidchia/

Dr. Diana Dupont-Roettger, Chief Scientific Alliance Officer: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianaroettger/