Asian Century and Clinical Trials: Issues for Consideration by Biotechnology Companies

MessageThis Webinar is over
Date May 19, 2016
Time 10:00 AM EDT
Cost Free
As with many other industries, there is a prevailing belief that the 21st Century will be the Asian Century when it comes to drug development and the pharmaceutical industry. Already, markets such as China are predicted to overtake the US to become the largest pharmaceutical market in the world during the first half of this century. As the globalization of clinical research gathers pace, the Asian region will continue to grow making it the most exciting frontier for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical research in. In a recent Novotech survey of executives from biopharmaceutical companies, 98% of respondents said they would consider the Asia Pacific region for future clinical trials.
Home to 60% of the world’s population, Asia’s popularity for clinical research and development has been fueled by four key factors:
  • 1. Cost-effectiveness and time efficiencies afforded by large populations, significant numbers of treatment naïve patients and high urban densities
  • 2. A wide range of chronic and lifestyle disease patterns driven by rising prosperity and aging populations
  • 3. Increasingly robust and efficient regulatory and ethics processes
  • 4. Quality improvements resulting from massive investments in research infrastructure and human resources
Access to Patients
In the last two decades, the total universe of clinical trials has not only greatly increased in number but become far more complex. The twin factors of increasing volume and greater complexity are at least as important as cost considerations when assessing the Asian century in the context of the clinical trials. Far more people, and far more patients, live in Asia than any other continent. Combined with a relatively low base of clinical trials historically in the region, it is not difficult to see why Asia is of such importance to the pharmaceutical industry. Led predominantly by US-based biotechnology companies, the region is now also increasingly popular for biotechnology sponsored phase II and III clinical trials. This trend is likely to gather momentum, with the key being greater access to patients. In many therapeutic areas, the patient demographics and disease prevalence is comparable across the world, and this weighs heavily on the decision where to conduct larger pivotal studies. The factors influencing such decisions are largely the same for both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Infrastructure and Government Support:
Fueled by the continued interest, governments in Asian countries increasingly view biomedical/life sciences industry as a key segment for future economic growth. Substantial financial support has been granted to this segment resulting in improved clinical research infrastructure in many of the region’s countries. Another important reason for Asia’s growing demand is the availability of world class medical professionals and investigators.
However, as attractive as the Asia may be, navigating the maze of trial logistics, local regulations and cultural differences can present major challenges.
To conduct clinical research in Asia, it is therefore very important to work with a partner with local expertise and capabilities on the ground.


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