The role of cross-border collaboration in strengthening innovation ecosystems in the biotech industry

Last year, the biotech industry faced numerous roadblocks which hindered progress in delivering innovative medicines to patients. The industry had to work through geopolitical tensions and unpredictable local capital markets, which brought about existing challenges to the fore, such as a lack of access to capital and stringent regulatory frameworks.

Despite these obstacles, the industry still saw a rise in cross-border licensing deals, particularly from Chinese biotech and pharma companies to global counterparts. In fact, the total transaction volume and number of out-licensing deals for new drugs in China reached new heights, with 70 out-licensing transactions completed, up from 51 in 2022.

Spurwing most recently attended the 3rd East-West Biopharma Summit as a Supporting Organisation, where we listened a thought-provoking panel discussion on how the rise in cross-border collaboration will impact the region’s biotech industry. Read on for our takeaways from the discussion.

25% of licensing deals currently originate from Asia

There is a clear trend amongst Asian biotech firms of out-licensing innovative assets. This reflects a strategic shift as firms set their sights on tapping into larger markets like the United States to foster innovation networks that bridge the East and West, with the broader goal of international expansion and portfolio diversification.

Strong potential for Asian biotech companies to expand their footprint on the global stage

This trend highlights the potential for the region to account for an even larger share of global deals if individual Asian countries strengthen their innovation ecosystems and collaborate across borders. However, building these fully integrated ecosystems may require effort from both parties involved in the cross-country collaboration, beyond just a focus on individual domestic strengths.

Singapore continues to be a driver in bridging the East and West

For Western innovators and investors, Singapore serves as a gateway to the rest of Asia. It is a turf-neutral hub to that connects these stakeholders with industry leaders from across the region. To strengthen its position as a biotech innovation hub, Singapore must continue investing in its ecosystem and address challenges like encouraging experienced entrepreneurs and local industry leaders to foster innovation.

Key communication strategies for biotech companies in 2024

With this shift set to bring about larger change for biotech companies across the region, the role of effective communication will become more important in ensuring companies stay ahead of the curve. Keep reading for our take on what to prioritise.

Craft compelling stories with your scientific data

Companies must distil their scientific data into compelling narratives that communicate the societal value of their new innovations. Within these narratives, it is essential to maintain a unified message across all channels that can resonate with global audiences. This would involve tailoring communication strategies to align with local nuances and market dynamics across multiple countries, while still upholding the company’s core values and global objectives.

Maintain strong relations with the media

Establishing and maintaining good relationships with key biotech journalists will be crucial, especially when it comes to managing the reputation of your company. The media plays an important role in facilitating dialogue between the public, policymakers and biotech companies, ensuring that complex information surrounding scientific findings remain accessible and easy to understand for these stakeholders.

Build a network of international partners

Companies intent on establishing successful cross-border collaborations should focus on leveraging international partnerships with other biotech firms and relevant industry stakeholders. These relationships would be beneficial in securing capital, instilling investor confidence and validating the market demand for biotech products. Companies should tap onto these partnerships and rely on the extensive network of specialist public relations agencies to broaden their reach.

At Spurwing, we keep our finger on the pulse of the latest developments in the biotech industry, equipping us with the expertise and understanding you need to turn any uncertainty into positive change for your company. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can work with you as a trusted partner this year:

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