2014 Biopharma Industry Trends: A Look Toward Emerging Markets

San Diego resident Deirdre Gillespie, M.D., oversees and consults biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses as CEO of Invigor Consulting. A 25-plus-year veteran of the biopharma sector, she previously held senior-level management positions at La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company and Vical, Inc. Today, Dr. Deirdre Gillespie serves as a board member and advisor of IRAD Oncology, Inc., and Apricus Biosciences, Inc.

Biotech stocks reached record highs in 2013, and the industry continues to grow in 2014, with the New York Stock Exchange’s ARCA Pharmaceutical Industry up (in March) more than 21.4% over the previous year. Big Pharma continues its focus on mergers and acquisitions activity as the value of biotech and medical tech business mergers and acquisitions grew more than 20% in 2013.

Another growing biopharma industry trend includes investment in emerging markets. Big Pharma businesses, among them Eli Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer, are all looking to expand their presence in emerging economies, including China and Brazil. Up until recently, the industry largely focused on growth in the United States, Europe, and Japan. However, with this new growth, emerging markets face more scrutiny. For example, investigations into bribery activity in China could stifle continued near-term biopharma growth there.