This week we explore the impending patent cliff, rising layoffs in biopharma and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Alzheimer’s and dementia care. In addition, we look at salaries in the medical devices industry and approval of a new medical device for the treatment of overactive bladder.
Each week we highlight five things affecting the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.
The biopharma industry is facing a significant “patent cliff” as several drugs lose their primary patents and more are expected to expire by the end of 2023, according to Biospace. This situation will allow new generics to enter the market, reducing both drug prices and revenue from brand-name products to manufacturers. The loss of patents could affect up to 79% of a company’s revenues, with the steepest price declines occurring when the first three generics are introduced. Biospace’s article highlights various drugs that may soon see generic versions, including treatments for ADHD, HIV, heart failure, and psoriasis. The phenomenon of “patent thickets,” which occurs when multiple patents are filed for a single drug, is also discussed as a strategy to delay the entry of generics into the market.
Layoffs in the biotech industry have reached a concerning level in 2023, matching the total number of companies that cut staff in all of 2022, according to Fierce Biotech. As of Aug 18, 119 biopharmas have reported workforce reductions this year, with the first quarter alone equaling almost half of all workforce reductions that occurred in 2022. The third quarter showed an uptick, with 28 companies laying off staff in just the first month and a half. At least 5,596 employees were cut from the 36 companies that reported actual numbers, while others reported layoffs as a percentage or didn’t share specific figures. The trend is not limited to smaller biotech companies, with major companies also announcing cuts.
The integration of AI into Alzheimer’s and dementia care is becoming a significant focus. Efforts are being made to develop AI-based healthcare services that concentrate on wellness and care for the elderly, reports GlobalData. By specializing in AI-based screening for diagnosing neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s, and creating mobile health diagnostic tools leveraging AI technology, the goal is to make early diagnosis more accessible to patients. This not only helps in understanding the risk factors but also relieves some of the workload from healthcare professionals. The use of AI in this field could be a transformative step in treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia, making care more efficient and personalized.
Major medical device companies are disclosing CEO pay ratios, revealing how many times higher a CEO’s total pay is compared to their median worker’s pay, Medical Design & Outsourcing reports. This new disclosure has illuminated the industry’s compensation practices, providing rare insights into pay dynamics. The average pay ratio among the companies analyzed was 219:1, with the average median employee’s salary $76,283 and average CEO compensation of $10.6 million. These figures offer valuable information for those in the field, though they may not be equally comparable across different companies due to variations in calculation methods. The disclosure of these ratios has also led to increased scrutiny from investors and has sparked debates over executive compensation within the industry.
Health Tech reports that the FDA has authorized a new treatment option for overactive bladder, a condition that can be highly debilitating. The treatment consists of a small ankle implant and an accompanying wearable that provides stimulation, known as tibial neuromodulation, to block abnormal nerve signals around the bladder. This technology was developed by BlueWind Medical and tested on 151 women, with around 75% responding positively to the therapy. That group experienced 50% fewer bladder leaks and recorded no adverse events. The new device offers a more convenient and less invasive option compared to existing treatments, especially for those patients without immediate access to specialized care.
For more insights in life sciences, check out RSM’s industry outlook.