covid clinical trials

Biotech Funding and Clinical Trial Activities Are Shifting

Close up of test tubes in rack

Despite some recent consolidation, the funding of biotech companies remains strong in 2019. Driven by an increase in sponsors requiring larger studies, the Latin American region has become a key location to both extend global trials and to conduct full clinical trials.

The clinical activity of biotech companies has increased on average by about 10% each year over the last 2 years. Whilst over the same period, biotech activity in Latin America has increased by 26%.

There has been a recognised consolidation in equity capital raising from biotechnology companies globally. Despite this, biotech funding is still likely to reach $50b USD in 2019, achieving a similar result to the total funding in 2017.

A slowly decreasing number of clinical trials initiated by large Pharmaceutical companies (-4% each year on average over the last 2 fiscal years), is being compensated by strong growth and momentum from Small and Mid-size biotechnology companies (+10% each year on average over the same period).

rio, christ, cristo

This shift in mix is driving a strong trend for biotechnology companies to conduct clinical trials in the Latin American region.Furthermore, whilst the strongest growth in biotech activity is early phase clinical trials (Phase 1 in particular), Phase 3 clinical trials still represent the majority of biotech activity with a growth rate around 8% each year on average over the last 2 fiscal years. With US and European sponsors looking at larger global trials we observe a rising interest to explore locations in South America to support patient recruitment.

Latin America is now recognized to offer access to large sites, high-quality key opinion leaders and a lower risk of competing trials. The main challenge for any sponsor is to increase patient enrolment rates and adherence, while reducing trial timeframes and costs. The Latin American region offers proven access to large numbers of treatment-naïve participants in urban populations who are willing to participate in trials.


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