Process Analytical Technology Demand To Remain High in North America

According to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, the pharmaceutical R&D expenditure in the continent rose from EUR 17,849 million in 2000 to EUR 39,000 million in 2020. This classifies pharmaceutical as an investment-intensive industry, where R&D forms a crucial aspect. Around the world, strict guidelines are in place to ensure the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products for humans, which warrants a rather high expenditure in controlling and optimizing processes such as initial pharmacological studies, API and excipient discovery, final drug manufacturing, quality control and testing, and the all-important clinical trials.

The demand for such technologies was further escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which sparked a race to come up with effective vaccines and therapeutic drugs. With permanent hospital beds filling up rapidly and space at temporary isolation and care centers also reducing, the need for effective pandemic control resounded across the world in 2020, prompting governments to give a strong push to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. This led to high investments in R&D not only by well-known pharma and biotech firms, but also contract research and manufacturing organizations.

The pandemic and the lessons learned during it with regard to being prepared for a pandemic or other medical emergencies have fueled the demand for the software, instruments, and services used as part of PAT. Among these, the instruments, including analyzers, samplers, and sensors and probes, hold the larger process analytical technology market share due to the fact that the actual process control is enabled by them. They help in collecting and analyzing data, which is imperative for process control. Moreover, compared to services, the instruments are more expensive, and services are often offered complimentary for a certain period with the purchase of the instruments.

Currently, the North American process analytical technology market witnesses the highest demand for these solutions on account of its large pharma sector. According to the FDA, the U.S. was home to 28% of the API manufacturing plants in the world in 2019, which reflects a huge demand for PAT solutions. Additionally, the drug safety and pharma process control regulations implemented by the FDA are among the strictest on earth, which further necessitates a proper data analysis system. In addition, any new technology is first adopted in North America, which is another key reason for its market dominance.

Hence, fueled by the global urge to find better drugs for widely known and emerging diseases, the demand for technologies that help in the optimization of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing process will only rise.

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