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Report Urges Biopharma to Undergo Radical Changes as Genomics Evolve

NEW YORK, Nov. 26 - Biopharmaceutical companies must undergo "radical changes" in order to keep pace with the opportunities introduced by genomics, and companies in the genomics sector should expect an era of consolidation, a recent analysis from a management consulting firm has shown.


In its report released on Monday, the Boston Consulting Group urged pharmaceutical companies to switch gears to a more organized, collaborative, and "sophisticated" research arrangement if they want to get the most out of genomics technologies.


The changes must be comprehensive, according to the report, and affect parts of a company from management to lab practice.


Traditional R&D, for example, has been fragmented, independent, and experiment-based, the report claims. Pharmaceutical companies must replace this method with mechanized, rigorously defined programs. R&D must also be well coordinated with a far more sophisticated IT infrastructure, and researchers must be guided toward a more methodical and collaborative working style.


Marketing, too, will play an unprecedented role in shaping R&D in order to direct research efforts into lucrative fields, the report contends.


The genomics sector, for its part, has in store an era of consolidation, according to the report. Many firms in the industry are gravitating toward becoming full-fledged drug companies. Furthermore, is says that smaller companies are under pressure to scale up and mergers can be much faster and less painful than in-house expansion.


Recent deals like Sequenom's acquisition of Gemini Genomics or Sangamo BioScience's acquisition of Gendaq were clearly designed for quick scale up, and while many companies may not be able to afford fast expansions large genomics companies like HGS and Celera have plenty of cash to spend on diversification.


The report, entitled "A Revolution in R&D: How Genomics and Genetics are Transforming the Biopharmaceutical Industry," is the last in BCG's three-part series on the impact of genomics on pharmaceutical research. It is available on the company's website at

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