According to forecasts the global life sciences sector is set to grow by $400 billion within the next five to six years. Life sciences businesses have always operated in a world of uncertainty with pressures from pricing and changes in regulations affecting the industry. However, recent changes such as highly disruptive technologies, new technology-driven business models and changing demographics put the sector in a good position for future growth no matter the result of healthcare reforms and cost/pricing issues.
Advances such as wearable healthcare devices, electronic medical records, predictive analytics and bioinformatics are already beginning to disrupt and fuel the growth of the global life sciences sector. Also playing a key role is an ageing population, a growing middle-class and the increasing burden of chronic diseases. Precision medicine and contract development and manufacturing will create a paradigm shift away from broad therapies and towards highly targeted therapies.
Life Sciences in the UK
As a result of the sector’s potential growth the British government recently announced that one of the first ‘Sector Deals’ as part of the Industrial Strategy would be for the UK’s life sciences sector.
Currently there are over 5,700 life sciences companies in the UK with an annual turnover of around £64 billion and employment of over 233,000 individuals. The government recognises that the sector is growing and has much more potential, particularly given the UKs ageing population and the scale of digital technologies that are set to fuel even more growth. The Life Sciences Sector Deal was created to establish a strategic and long-term partnership between the life sciences sector and public sector organisations (including the NHS) in order to support this growth within the sector.
Leading Edge Healthcare Challenge
Moreover, the UK Government has recently released it’s plans to commit £146 million over the next four years to the Leading Edge Healthcare Challenge. The Leading Edge Healthcare Challenge is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, and is designed to support the development of technologies and the creation of new facilities for the manufacture of innovative medicines.
New Life Science Clusters
A report to the UK government from the UK’s life sciences sector, The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, has called on the government to support the creation of a series of new life sciences clusters throughout the country. These aim to help create new opportunities for collaboration whilst also attracting additional inward investment.
Leading the way
Evidently the life sciences sector is set to go through a period of substantial growth in the years ahead, both globally and in the UK. However, the ‘disruptive technologies’ that will help to fuel this growth will also do as their name suggests – cause disruption. For executives to future proof their businesses, focus needs to be placed on putting together the right leadership teams. We have the right experience and the global reach to help make this happen. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can help.