38.4% of the global fragment-based drug discovery market was collectively held by its top three players in 2014. Astex Pharmaceuticals, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., and Sygnature Discovery were the key contributors to the market revenue at the time and are expected to retain their lead in the near future. A new research report released by Transparency Market Research states that with 52.3% of the global fragment-based drug discovery market occupied by regional players, this highly fragmented market is dominated by local market companies that offer cheaper services.
The significantly large presence of regional companies is leaving the market in an unorganized state which makes it difficult for prominent players to expand their horizons. The TMR report also states that the threat of new entrants to the market is expected to remain moderate in the coming years, due to a high setup cost and the need for skilled professionals for the programs. Additionally, the market is governed by extremely strict regulations created by bodies such as the FDA and the EMA, further reducing the scope of new entrants into the market.
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FBDD Shows Greater Promise Through Implementation of Novel Technologies
“The scope of fragment-based drug discovery programs has already been quite high in several end-user segments such as biopharmaceuticals,” states a TMR analyst. “There has, however, been the slight hindrance of cost and time being high for several companies. This is changing fast through the implementation of techniques such as combinational chemistry and high-throughput screening. These techniques are not only reducing the time taken for drug discovery, but also cutting down overall costs by a significant amount.”
The potential of fragment-based drugs is already visible through the approval of Vemurafenib, a melanoma drug and the first fragment-based drug ever to be approved. Companies are therefore quickly beginning to realize the potential of fragment-based drug discovery techniques and consequently, the use of modern screening processes that reduce time even further.
Instances of Low Drug Potency Hamper FBDD Growth
While the utility of fragment-based drug discovery is well-established, there are still cases observed where the use of fragment-based drug discovery techniques can only help develop low-potency drugs. This significantly reduces the values of the drug as well as the technique and therefore deters several companies from implementing FBDD techniques.
Owing to the strict regulatory functions surrounding drug development across the world, the potency of drugs have always been a high concern in terms of clinical considerations. Higher potency is always preferred and therefore, fragment hits that result in a potency lower than a minimum level are considered unfruitful.
North America Expected to Continue Leading FBDD Demand
The global market for fragment-based drug discovery is expected to expand at a very optimistic CAGR of 14.4% within a forecast period from 2015 to 2023, in terms of revenue. This revenue is expected to reach US$435.6 mn by the end of 2016 and US$1.15 bn by the end of 2023.
Biopharmaceutical companies have been the largest end users for fragment-based drug discovery programs. By the end of 2023, the revenue earned from them is expected to reach US$565.2 mn. Leading industry practices have allowed North America to retain the top demand for fragment-based drug discovery programs so far. The region is expected to remain dominant till 2023, by when it is expected to reach US$525.2 mn.
The service component of fragment screening has been the most popular so far and is expected to remain the leading segment till 2023. By the end of 2023, fragment screening revenue is expected to reach US$742.3 mn.
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