Cytiva launches 2023 Biopharma Resilience Index

20 June 2023 | Tuesday | Analysis

Biopharma’s own leaders express a declining sense of industry resilience in the latest wide-reaching survey from Cytiva. The Global Biopharma Resilience Index looks at five major areas within the industry: supply chain resilience, talent pool, R&D ecosystem, manufacturing agility, and government policy and regulation.

  • Industry leaders rate capabilities in five key areas: supply chain resilience, talent pool, R&D ecosystem, manufacturing agility, and government policy and regulation
  • Survey reveals supply chain resilience and manufacturing agility improved over the last two years, but overall industry resilience is down
  • There continues to be a strong correlation between resilience and higher performing countries; Switzerland performed best, with the US and UK rated slightly lower

1250 biopharma and pharma executives in 22 countries were surveyed for the 2023 report. Respondents answered questions on a scale of 0 to 10 and each country’s score is the average of the answers. The overall index score in 2023 is 6.08 out of ten compared to 6.6 in 2021.

Switzerland, the US, and the UK rated highest across the survey elements. As in 2021, the 2023 report showed a strong correlation between high performing countries and higher income per capita. Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates ranked lowest largely due to the fact that they remain heavily import-dependent for pharma products, despite making progress in domestic manufacturing capabilities.

Emmanuel Ligner, President and CEO, Cytiva, says: “Being the best in class partner to our customers requires us to listen to the industry and to understand the painpoints. This research gives us a better understanding of the challenges our customers face, so we work toward deeper and more meaningful collaborations to solve some of the world’s greatest health challenges.”

Two areas that saw improvement were supply chain resilience and manufacturing agility, where significant investment and attention were given during the COVID-19 pandemic. Talent pool, R&D ecosystem, and government policy and regulation all had lower scores in 2023 compared to 2021.

Killian O’Driscoll, Chief Commercial Officer, National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), says: “The biopharma industry is at a major inflection point with an increased focus on new modalities. Having research that shares information about the state of the global industry will help us make more informed decisions about tangible improvements we can make to benefit the industry.”

In-depth look: the five pillars of resilience

  • Supply chain resilience – Despite overall improvement, only 44% of biopharma executives feel their supply chains are more robust than they were a year ago and 50% say their country is moderately to highly dependent on the import of many components of drug production. While nearly 19% say that increasing supply chain resilience is a domestic priority for the next two years.
  • Manufacturing agility – 52% of respondents say that it has become more affordable to manufacture biopharmaceuticals, but only 8% say their country could immediately ramp up production in response to a shortfall. Advanced technologies such as AI, data analytics, robotics, and automation could allow manufacturers to scale production up or down as needed. Additionally, manufacturing for cell and gene therapies continues to suffer from a lack of streamlining and limited standardization.
  • Talent pool –Sourcing talent continues to be a challenge. Almost 25% of biopharma executives report that it’s a substantial challenge to find and retain pharma manufacturing talent. This problem is worsened by the increasing call for AI-modelling skills across biopharma processes, meaning that the required skill sets are much more specific than in the past.
  • R&D ecosystem – Enhancing collaboration and national R&D ecosytems are top domestic priorities for respondents. While the majority of those surveyed are positive about the quality of potential R&D partners in their country, about 25% rate them as excellent.
  • Government policy and regulation – 66% of biopharma leaders are satisfied with the speed of drug approvals, but only 59% are satisfied with the structure for consultation between regulators and other stakeholders, including patients and industry. 90% of executives reported their country needs to do more to support the delivery of cell and gene therapies.

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