Why mid-market pharma is thriving

Tom Cowap

Published January 2017

If there’s one thing that this year’s Pharma Fast 50 emphasises, it is that privately owned pharmaceutical firms in the UK are thriving. With big pharma facing mounting pressure on profits caused by expiring marketing exclusivity on key drugs, increasing focus on healthcare budgets by governments, increasingly stringent clinical trials and less productive pipelines, this may seem counter-intuitive.

However, it is these pressures that are helping mid-market firms grow. Expiry of marketing exclusivity is allowing generic competition to come into the market. At a time when the NHS is focusing on cutting costs and generic drugs offer huge potential discounts to their branded predecessors, the market is seeing stellar growth. This is illustrated by companies like Crescent Pharmaceuticals, ranked second in this year’s Pharma Fast 50. Big pharma need to bring drugs to market as efficiently and effectively as possible. To do this, they are outsourcing drug development and clinical trials to specialists who can provide the best chances of a successful product. Examples of companies like this are abundant in this year’s listing, in the top ten in particular, with CRO Quanticate and specialist drug developer Quotient Clinical leading the
charge. The need to ensure those drugs that do make it to final use are leveraged as successfully as possible has led to the rise of specialist
consultants like Nucleus Global – ranking eighth in this year’s list.

These trends are not temporary. When combined with the global factors that are supporting big pharma – an ageing population and rise in associated chronic conditions, changing lifestyles and a growing middle class – they give a very positive outlook for privately owned pharmaceutical businesses in the UK. Our Pharma Fast 50 report looks at these trends in more detail and profiles some of
the companies benefiting from them.

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Tom Cowap
T: +44 (0) 20 7246 0512
E: tomcowap@catalystcf.co.uk