Drug discovery is referred to as the process of identifying and developing a compound that has pharmacological activity and is useful in treating disease. Drug discovery is a complex and lengthy procedure that proceeds through various stages in order to produce a product that is efficacious, safe, and holds regulatory compliance. Drug discovery is a costly procedure. According to a study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development that was conducted in 2014, the cost of developing a new drug, from research and development to approval for marketing, is approximately US$ 2.9 Bn. The process of drug discovery and informatics has been changing, with the adoption of various computational methods assisting in the design of novel drug candidates rapidly and at lower costs.
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Major pharmaceutical companies performing drug discovery and informatics processes are shifting their focus on gaining a foothold in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, and Mexico in order to expand their business operations and explore new markets. Emerging nations in Asia Pacific are conducting early-stage research programs, primarily aimed at specific medical needs of patients in the region. This is likely to fuel the growth of the global drug discovery services market. Moreover, a shift in preference of pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies toward outsourcing of drug discoveries and clinical and preclinical trials in order to focus on their core businesses is likely to boost the drug discovery services market.
However, there is a significant shortage of skilled staff in the drug discovery services industry. This shortage affects pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies and contract research organizations. There are very few institutions and organizations all over the world that offer training in drug discovery and informatics services. Therefore, availability of trained professionals is also low. These factors are likely to hamper the drug discovery services market in the near future.
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The drug discovery services market can be segmented based on drug, service, process, therapeutic area, and geography. Based on drug, the global drug discovery services market can be classified into small molecules and biologics. In terms of service, the global drug discovery services market can be categorized into medicinal chemistry, biology services, and informatics services. Based on process, the global drug discovery services market can be divided into target selection, lead identification, lead optimization, and others. In terms of therapeutic area, the global drug discovery services market can be segmented into oncology, neurology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and others.