Drug companies are switching more research focus to complex molecules in a push towards personalised treatments, according to recent reports.
Personalised medicines are seen by investors as the future of the pharmaceutical industry, and drug groups pursuing this strategy are being rewarded with sharp gains in their share price.
At British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, new chief executive Pascal Soriot has pushed to transform the portfolio of the company since his appointment last October through innovation in the biological medicines area.
“We are committed to science and innovation. If we make the right choices, we’ll transform our portfolio,” comments Soriot.
After an extended period of negativity about pharma stocks, with fears over continuing innovation of new products, a weak pipeline of new drugs and the proliferation of generic competitors, the large drug companies have seen a marked upturn in their fortunes since 2012.
A burst of exciting new research, much of it founded on the decoding of the human genome, which was declared complete in 2003, has given cause for a great deal of optimism, upon which the markets have seized.
Sir Richard Sykes, former head of the group that is now GlaxoSmithKline, says “It will come, but not as fast as everyone was anticipating. It’s unbelievably complicated. Some of the biggest drugs are still only dealing with symptoms, not eliminating the problem.”