ramarketing review: highlights, insights & spotlights – May

26th May, 2023

Bringing you insight from our in-house sector experts, the ramarketing review offers vital industry knowledge to keep you in the know, featuring a different ramarketing expert each month to deliver headline highlights.

If you’d like to receive updates straight to your inbox, sign up here.

Introducing May’s sector expert…

Dr Emma Banks PhD

Emma is our CEO and is an integral part of the agency; she came to ramarketing four years ago and now oversees the entire business from our Newcastle headquarters in the North East of England. Emma leads the agency’s vision and strategy, alongside client and employee experience. Her main focus is on developing a data-driven value creation plan to support our continued growth. A key goal is to make sure the time spent with ramarketing, whether you are working with us or for us, is exceptional.

Emma earned her PhD and completed two years of Postdoctoral Research before joining a biometrics CRO. She then led an international life sciences software company before becoming the Managing Director of ramarketing in 2019. In her role, she focused on scaling the agency and building a strong leadership team. Emma was later promoted to CEO in 2022.

Enjoy May’s news roundup featuring Emma’s commentary on the headlines impacting companies operating inside outsourcing

Is Biotech M&A on the up?

There’s been lots of talk and plenty of insight into the potential slowing of funding for early-stage biotech companies over the past year. M&A has always been a key element of the drug development ecosystem, most notably because large pharma are facing their patent cliffs head-on. However it has been in decline. By November 2022, dealmaking had fallen by 53% compared to the full year of 2021 according to a report by IQVIA and although the feeling is it will pick up again, it is yet to fully materialize. M&A is an important element to both start-up and new drug development program funding so there is much to hope for as we continue through 2023 and beyond.

Drug shortages mean treatment delays

Drug shortages for a number of life-threatening conditions are reaching a record high in the USA, including cancer treatments and key antibiotics. Global drug supply is under serious pressure and there are a number of reasons for this; 

  • Supply chain interruptions
  • Quality and financial issues which are leading to manufacturing shutdowns 
  • The generics market, a key element of the ecosystem, is also faltering leaving patients in very challenging situations
  • Delays in cancer treatment – an area already under pressure post-COVID is putting patient’s lives at risk

Families raise money for rare disease therapies

As is often the case, work on ultra-rare diseases is small in scale and not a focus for the industry at large. Families often find themselves raising money independently and driving the research into these diseases. But in order for these potential therapies to be made available for patients, their development often needs to move into the biotech space and many are now being shelved, forcing them back into the originating academic institutions. It’s not entirely clear why these programs are being stopped but the industry downturn is not helping coupled with higher-than-normal complexity (regulatory challenges and return on investment). There is an ongoing push to encourage regulators to show flexibility around the evidence needed to support these ultra-rare therapies – the biggest challenge being the small patient population. 

Immuno-gene therapy: universal treatment for solid tumours?

Siren Biotechnology emerged out of stealth mode this month with a novel and exciting therapeutic model targeting solid tumours. A merge of the gene therapy and cancer immunotherapy fields; two disciplines that seldom speak or share an academic department. The ambition is to create a re-usable AAV (Adeno-Associated Virus) based model for delivering cytokines to tumours for as long as the tumour is alive. Early data in animals has been very promising. 

The news this month is a real mix of incredible achievement on a backdrop of financial pressure, and most notably, a much more direct patient impact than we’ve seen before COVID. M&A is showing small signs of increasing but our supply chains are under pressure and drug demand is surpassing expectations across a number of therapeutic areas. There is much to be encouraged by but 2023 looks to be a year of digging in as we adapt to the post-COVID era.

Emma Banks, CEO

Stay tuned for more ramarketing review installments – who will next month’s guest expert be? You’ll have to be subscribed to our mailing list to find out…

Sign up here