Asia Pacific Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market to 2027 – COVID-19 Impact Analysis and Forecast – by Therapeutic Area and Process/Phase
The Asia Pacific small molecule drug discovery market is expected to reach US$ 8,797.47 million by 2027 from US$ 4,146.40 million in 2019. The market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% from 2020 to 2027. The Asia Pacific small molecule drug discovery market is growing primarily due to increasing approval of small molecule drugs, growing demand for R&D from contract organizations, and rising adoption of small molecules in chronic disease treatments in the region. Additionally, growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in drug discovery and increasing small molecule-based pipeline are likely to fuel the growth of the small molecule drug discovery market during the forecast period. However, factors such as high cost of drug development may hamper the growth of the market.
Small molecule drugs are used in targeted drug delivery in which small molecules pass through the cell membrane and act on the specific cellular organelle or protein. The small molecule drugs are able to enter cells easily because of their low molecular weight. These molecules are better than monoclonal antibodies and other large molecule drugs as they are smaller in size, easy to convert into oral form, and highly cost-effective. The discovery of novel small molecule entities that are capable of specific interactions represents a significant challenge in the early stages of drug discovery. When the biological target is well defined and understood, the rational design of small molecule ligands is possible. In the recent years, the small molecule drugs have witnessed significant attention over biologics, as an increase in demand for these drugs has been observed.
Artificial intelligence and associated technologies are making drug discovery cost-effective and quick. Leading biopharmaceutical companies have been utilizing AI platforms to accelerate the drug discovery of novel therapeutics. Currently, AI tools are used in screening and identifying compounds. They are also used to minimize drug interactions that may cause issues later.
With the rapid introduction of AI in healthcare, numerous pharmaceutical companies have made investments in joint ventures with AI companies to develop better healthcare tools. These include identification of drug targets and designing new drugs. Therefore, numerous partnerships between pharmaceutical industries and AI companies and government organizations were witnessed. Moreover, growing number of AI start-ups in drug discovery technologies is further accelerating the growth of the market. In the field of mental health, this type of efficient drug discovery offers increased effectiveness of the treatment.
Considering the geographic and economic operations between Asian countries and China, the countries are anticipated to witness challenge of COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic may also cause both medium- and longer-term negative impacts on R&D and manufacturing activities and delay on projects. Moreover, a large number of contract research organizations are based in Asia Pacific, especially in China. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many CROs to close their manufacturing and development plants to avoid the increase in cases. These factors are affecting the growth of the small molecule drug discovery market in the region.
In terms of therapeutic area, the oncology segment accounted for the highest share of the market in 2019. This can be attributed to increasing need for better understanding of the disease and development of effective therapies to combat rising prevalence of the disease. Furthermore, untapped opportunities in cancer treatment to discover targets that can yield into a viable drug compound engage market players to conduct research in these areas. The dominance of the oncology segment is further attributed to huge investments made by the biopharmaceutical companies in identifying new small molecules of cancer and inclination toward immune-oncology therapies.
A few major secondary sources associated with the Asia Pacific small molecule drug discovery market report include World Health Organization (WHO) and Centre for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD).