Big Pharma that is:
The U.S. National Institutes of Health counts nanomedicine as one of its top five priorities, the National Cancer Institute committed $144 million to nanotechnology research in October 2004, and 40% of nanotech venture capital since 1998 has gone to life sciences start-ups. Yet despite nanotechnology’s promise in improving how drugs are developed and delivered, major pharmaceutical companies are committing almost no money or people to nanotechnology research — exposing them to strategic risks, according to a new report from Lux Research entitled “Why Big Pharma Is Missing the Nanotech Opportunity.”
“Nanotech presents many opportunities to pharmaceutical giants, ranging from better delivery of existing drugs to entirely new therapies based on nanomaterials,” said Lux Research Vice President of Research Matthew M. Nordan. “But big pharma is not investing in nanotech today. If this trend continues, nanotech will play out in pharmaceuticals just as biotechnology did, with major pharmaceutical companies leaving money on the table and allowing new competitors to take root.”
Lux Research bases its conclusions on in-depth interviews conducted with individuals accountable for nanotechnology at 33 global corporations with annual revenues exceeding $5 billion. The interview data reveals that:
* No life sciences interviewee rates nanotech as a high corporate priority, as opposed to 78% of interviewees in electronics and materials.
* Only one out of six life sciences respondents claims to have an explicit strategy for nanotechnology, compared with two-thirds of those in other electronics and materials.
* Big pharma companies on average commit 16 people and less than half of one percent of R&D spending to nanotechnology research, whereas like-sized electronics and materials firms commit more than 100 people and more than 8% of R&D.