Five Life Sciences Industry Trends for 2018

Every industry goes through changes over time and the life sciences industry is no exception. However, it does show distinct industry-specific characteristics, such as the continuation of similar trends year-after-year and a slower pace of change.

Here are five continued, emerging and forward-thinking trends Welocalize Life Sciences has identified for 2018:

  1. Competition from outside. In recent years, technology companies such as Google, Apple and IBM have entered the space, and we expect this to continue in 2018. According to this article in October, Amazon is the newest tech giant to investigate entry into healthcare and pharmaceuticals. “Amazon sees hundreds of billions of dollars there for the taking, not to mention an opportunity to reinvent an industry. That it’s experimenting with ways to enter healthcare shouldn’t come as a surprise,” commented William Martino, managing director of Wunderman Health New York, in a recent column for MM&M. Why are technology companies interested in the life sciences and healthcare industries? How are these companies altering the space? VentureClash sheds some light on the topic.
  2. Increased partnership transparency. As sponsors increasingly engage contract research organizations (CROs) in the drug development process, relationships are becoming more strategic. According to Contract Pharma, sponsors also seek data and analytics for trial insights and design, drug development planning, medical affairs and regulatory consulting from CROs.  One critical components of a successful sponsor/CRO partnership is transparency. Enter technology. To help increase transparency and improve study communication, Welocalize Life Sciences has developed a proprietary Clinical Trial Portal. Here, drug companies can check the status of their trials, real-time. Find out more about this solution.
  3. Geo-targeted social media and mobile marketing. A continuing trend for the coming year is the use of social media for patient recruitment and awareness. But, marketers are shifting to geographic-specific social media and mobile marketing strategies. Geo-targeting is the ability to reach subjects or patients in the specific area, generally within a specific radius such as 25 miles.  Outsourcing Pharma explains why researchers see Twitter and other social media platforms as viable options for stimulating interest and enrollment in clinical trials. Find out more about geo-targeting and the options available.
  4. Preparation for EMA Regulation. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) Regulation (EU) No 536/2014 on clinical trials on medicinal products for human use was postponed from a 2018 roll-out to 2019. However, in 2018 companies will be preparing for the forthcoming changes, one of which is the inclusion of a Lay Summary. Translation into all European languages will be required. There is a guideline document, which includes several strict requirements (e.g. readability tests including syllable count, sentence length, etc.). Read our overview of the guidelines and requirements for drafting summaries of clinical trial results for laypersons.
  5. More mergers. In the coming years, the life sciences industry will continue to face a wide range of pressures—from regulatory to economic. Keeping pace with the changes, according to research and consulting firm Deloitte, will require “alternative business models, additional skills, greater efficiencies, new paths to innovation and creative strategies for growth.” The firm contends that much of this can be achieved by adopting new collaborative business models, including mergers and acquisitions, to “increase capabilities and expand geographic footprints.”

Welocalize Life Sciences has helped companies reduce translation costs, prepare for EMA Regulatory changes and improve trial transparency. Contact us for more information on our language services for highly regulated industries.