The global drug discovery services market size is expected to grow from USD 9,324.1 Million in 2020 to USD 18,562.4 Million by 2027, at a CAGR of 9.8% from 2021 to 2027. Drug discovery services are the services required for drug development by various pharma and biotech companies. Molecular manipulation, random screening, drug metabolites, molecular designing, and serendipity are common methods employed for drug development. This process comprises identifying aspirants, production, depiction, selection, and assays for therapeutic usefulness.
Factors such as growing pipelines for biological candidates, continuous outsourcing from pharmaceutical companies, and increasing demand for accurate analytical details on drugs and process development by regulatory agencies are anticipated to drive the rapid market growth. With the changing market dynamics, service providers strive to provide analytical testing with quality, accuracy, and robustness within tight timelines. Increasing research and development expenditures, increasing focus on cost optimization, a growing outsourcing trend, big data, artificial intelligence, and global pharmaceutical and biotech companies increasingly seeking dynamic, flexible, and reliable partners are certain factors augmenting the market growth across the globe.
As most drugs are used to treat critically ill patients suffering from chronic diseases, the drug usually must adhere strictly to the standards set by regulatory bodies. Stringent regulatory requirements mean many countries have long timelines for pharmaceutical drug approval, especially for cancer-related drugs. There are significant differences when regulators in different countries approve the drugs based on their prevailing national regulatory standards. This means that, in general, patients gain access to promising drugs (like drugs for cancers and other chronic diseases) at different times. This severely limits the marketing ability of most large companies. Additionally, late approval in countries means that many patients lose out on potentially important medication to improve their quality of life.
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Global Drug Discovery Services Market Dynamics
Drivers: Increasing Research And Development Investments For Development Of Novel Drug Molecules
The expenditure on research and development by pharmaceutical companies has increased over the years. For instance, Pfizer spent USD 7,690 million on research and development in 2015, which increased to USD 8,650 million in 2019. It directly translates to increased expenditure on drug discovery. As per a 2020 report published by the American Medical Association (JAMA) Journal, the estimated median capitalized R&D cost per product between 2009 and 2018 valued at USD 985 million, including expenditure on failed trials.
In cases of novel therapeutics, the number of research is also increasing. According to the research article published in Pharmaceuticals in February 2020, three peptides, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), were approved by FDA. Forty-eight drugs were approved in 2019, 10 of which were biologics, and the remaining 38 new chemical entities (NCEs) comprised peptides and Oligonucleotides.
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Restraints: Stringent Government Regulations
Regulatory agencies normally only approve cancer drugs based on double-blind, randomized, comparative, Phase 3 trials. These trials take a lot of time and may sometimes involve large numbers of people. Thus, stringent standards also prevent quick approval from the company’s pipeline to the market. Additionally, the major concern in regulatory approval is wide variability in current clinical trial design, including different inclusion criteria, endpoints, analysis plans, and the definition of best concomitant supportive care; as a result of these variations, divergent opinions on what to consider a meaningful clinical endpoint by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) versus the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Opportunities: Advancement in the technologies
The employment of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, and pharmacogenomics, plays a vital role in minimizing the time required for drug discovery, which benefits pharmaceutical companies with reduced investment and increased investment return. Artificial intelligence deals with developing smart algorithms that can mimic the surroundings usually associated with the human brain. Thus, artificial intelligence has affected every aspect of pharmaceutical activities, starting from the early-stage drug discovery process and clinical development to the commercialization of the drug in the market.
The advancement in data analytics is expected to spur the adoption of various modern approaches in drug discovery, such as adaptive trial design, master protocols, enhanced segmentation of disease and patient populations, real-world evidence (RWE) applications for regulatory approval, which can increase the R&D efficiency and the quality of the evidence generated to support the drug approval.
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Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the drug discovery services market based on the process, type, drug type, therapeutic area, and company type.
By Process (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017-2027)
- Target Selection
- Target Validation
- Hit-To-Lead Identification
- Lead Optimization
- Candidate Validation
By Type (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017-2027)
- Medicinal Chemistry Services
- Biology Services
- Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
By Drug Type (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017-2027)
- Small Molecule Drugs
- Biologic Drugs
By Therapeutic Area (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017-2027)
- Central Nervous Systems
- Infectious Disease
- Metabolic Disorders
By Company Type (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017-2027)
- Tier 1 Pharmaceutical Companies
- Tier 2 Pharmaceutical Companies
- Tier 3 Pharmaceutical Companies
By Region (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017-2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
The hit-to-lead identification segment of the drug discovery services market is projected to account for the largest share, by process
Based on the process, the drug discovery services market has been segmented into target selection, target validation, hit-to-lead identification, lead optimization, and candidate validation. The hit-to-lead identification segment held the dominant position, with the largest share of 28.7% of the global drug discovery services market in 2020. The large share of the hit-to-lead identification segment can be attributed to the increasing research-based high-throughput screening (HTS). The hit to lead (H2L) stage of drug discovery intends to discover leads from a selection of compounds that demonstrate certain promising therapeutic effects. This includes a detailed analysis of a chemical library comprising smaller molecules with possible activity at the target site.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period in the drug discovery services market.
Based on the regions, the global drug discovery services market has been segmented across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. In Asia-Pacific, four main countries, namely, China, India, Japan, and the Rest of Asia-Pacific, are analyzed. Asia-Pacific holds the second position in the global drug discovery services market. China accounted for a major share of this market in 2020, and India is expected to experience rapid growth during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is also estimated to exhibit the fastest CAGR of 11.9% of the drug discovery services market during the forecast period. The rising growth prospects in emerging APAC countries and a shift in leading pharmaceutical companies’ research and manufacturing base are expected to propel the regional growth during the forecast period. Moreover, several top pharma giants have entered the APAC region to reduce manufacturing costs and exploit growth opportunities in the near future.
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Key Market Players
The drug discovery services market is mildly concentrated in nature with few numbers global players operating in the market, such as Thermo Fisher Schientific, Merck KGaA, Charles River Laboratories International, GE Healthcare, Evotec, Jubilant Biosys, Covance, Genscript Biotech Corporation, Aurigene Discovery Technologies, Wuxi Apptec, Syngene, Eurofins Scientific, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, GVK Biosciences Private Limited, Lonza Group AG, Piramal Enterprises Ltd., Dalton Pharma Services, Viva Biotech, and Selvita. Among these market players, Charles River Laboratories, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Wuxi Apptec, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Evotec are among the leading players in the drug discovery services market. These companies contribute around 46.3% to the global market, with a major presence in the US.