Healthcare and Life Sciences in North America: Opportunities & Post-Pandemic Outlook

Published on: Dec 12, 2022
Author: Tony Liu

Hot Topics & Opportunities

1.     COVID

2021 was an outstanding year for many pharmaceutical companies, and the top pharma companies of them are still riding the COVID wave. They continued to be engaged in developing vaccines and therapeutics in 2022, and the investments in R&D have incurred greater revenue and earnings.

“Company of the Year Pfizer Inc. certainly broke records. Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer developed with BioNTech SE, is now the best-selling drug in the world, having generated 2021 direct sales and alliance revenue of $36.78 billion for Pfizer. For the first half of 2022, that total was reported by Pfizer at $22.08 billion. With the company’s September 2022 launch of a booster aimed at the BA.4/BA.5 strain of Omicron, Pfizer anticipated $32 billion for Comirnaty for full-year 2022.

Driven by Comirnaty sales, the company reported 2021 revenue of $81.29 billion compared with $41.65 billion in 2020. Net income for 2021 was $21.98 billion compared with $9.16 billion, and diluted EPS were $3.85 compared with $1.63. First-half 2022 sales totaled $53.40 billion versus $33.42 billion in the same period last year. Net income was $17.77 billion compared with first-half 2021’s $10.44 billion. Diluted EPS were $3.66 versus $2.01.

For full-year 2022, Pfizer raised the company’s guidance, expecting revenue of $98 to $102 billion and adjusted diluted earnings per share of $6.30 to $6.45” (Truelove, 2022).

2.     MonkeyPox

Cases of mpox (monkeypox) have been reported from non-endemic countries since early May 2022, and cases are still being reported from several endemic countries. The escalating global monkeypox outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the WHO Director-General on July 23, 2022 (WHO, 2022).

Bavarian Nordic A/S, the only company with an approved vaccine for monkeypox, said it’s no longer certain it can meet demand and is talking to multiple production partners as cases rise across the world. The Danish company is exploring the possibility of outsourcing some of its production, including a technology transfer to a US contract manufacturer” (Wienberg & Muller, 2022).

Outlook: Life After Pandemic

1.     Data Sciences in Healthcare

The value of data sciences in the healthcare sector is far-reaching and ever-changing, and every year, new businesses enter the market at all points along the value chain.

A recent Deloitte and Fortune report shows that 77% of CEOs across 15 industries say the COVID-19 crisis accelerated digital transformation, and CEO optimism about the year ahead remains strong (Deloitte US, 2022). The digital transformation trend is anticipated to accelerate in 2022 with a renewed drive towards more long-term strategic digital objectives (IDC, 2021). “Digital innovation has been accelerated by 10 years by what has happened over the course of the last 18 months”, said Manoj Raghunandan, President, Global Self Care and Consumer Experience Organization (CxO) at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health (Levy, 2022, p. 45).

As stated in Deloitte’s 2022 Global Life Sciences Outlook report, biopharma executives were also surveyed, and 82% of them believe that this digital transformation trend will continue post-pandemic (Levy, 2022, p. 46). In this report, Deloitte anticipates “further growth in the industry as life sciences companies continue to transform. Some companies, especially those with limited legacy ways of working, are coming out of the pandemic adopting a digital-first model and challenging norms across their enterprise. Those that made significant digital investments prior to the pandemic are benefitting from their bold vision as digital transformation accelerates every part of the life sciences value chain” (Levy, 2022, p. 3).

Life Science Analytics uses big data, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and advanced technologies to conduct descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. According to Life Science Analytics Market Analysis by Research and Markets, the market size of life science analytics is projected to be $24.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 15.31% during the forecast period 2022-2029 (Research and Markets, August 2022).

A. Real-World Study:

Real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence (RWE) collected today have the potential to better inform clinical trial design/execution and deliver insights never before thought possible (Levy, 2022, p. 12). In Deloitte’s annual survey of C-suite biopharma leaders, 100% identified RWE as strategically important (Taylor, 2022). The Real-World Data (RWD) Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period 2022 – 2029 to reach USD$2 billion by 2029 (Meticulous Market Research, 2022).

B. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML):

With the rapid advancements in hardware performance and machine learning algorithms, AI technology is anticipated to play a crucial role in efficiently aggregating, processing and utilizing vast amounts of health and medical data.

In 2021, the US FDA issued a new guidance, the AI/ML-based Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) Action Plan, to address the development, safety and effectiveness, and post-market monitoring of AI/ML tools (FDA, 2021).

Over the next year, as agencies review and authorize a growing number of AI- and ML-based medical devices, regulators and manufacturers will likely gain new and important insights. These devices will also help move the burden of many practical tasks from skilled physicians to clinical engineers, nurses, and other staff (Levy, 2022, p. 43).

According to Research and Markets, the global artificial intelligence in healthcare market size is expected to reach $208.2 billion by 2030, and the market is expected to expand from the estimated $15.4 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 38.4% from 2022 to 2030. North America dominated in 2021, due to advancements in healthcare IT infrastructure, readiness to adopt advanced technologies, presence of several key players, growing geriatric population, and rising prevalence of chronic diseases, and is projected to lead the market over the forecast period (Research and Markets, 2022).

2.     New immunotherapy: messenger-RNA (mRNA) technology

a. Combined Vaccine Targeting COVID and Flu

An early-stage study has been initiated by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE to evaluate a combination vaccine targeting COVID-19 and influenza.

“The trial is being conducted in the United States and the companies aim to enroll 180 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 64. The single-dose vaccine candidate is a combination of Pfizer’s mRNA-based flu shot and the companies’ Omicron-tailored COVID-19 booster shot” (Reuters, 2022).

b. Cancer Vaccine

German Professors Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin, the husband-and-wife team who cofounded BioNTech, the biotechnology company that partnered with Pfizer to develop an effective messenger-RNA (mRNA) shot against COVID-19, has predicted that a cancer vaccine could be widely available within the next decade (Bloomberg, 2022).

Before the pandemic began, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers had already been working to use mRNA vaccine technology to treat cancer. Dr. Vinod Balachandran, a physician-scientist says mRNA vaccines could stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack pancreatic cancer cells, which could reduce the risk of the cancer returning after the main tumor was removed by surgery (MSK, 2022).


Notes: This breakdown article provides additional content from NAI Interactive Ltd.’s presentation at the GCFF Virtual Conference 2022 – Healthcare Investment (Asia Pacific) on Nov 16, 2022.

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Bloomberg. (2022, October 16). Cancer Vaccine Could Be Available by 2030, Say Scientists Behind Covid Shot. .

Deloitte US. (2022, October 27). Fall 2022 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey: Once again CEOs offer a contrarian view by remaining moderately optimistic about their company outlook. .

International Data Corporation (IDC). (2021, November 9). New IDC Spending Guide Shows Continued Growth for Digital Transformation as Organizations Focus on Strategic Priorities. .

Levy, V. (2022). 2022 Global Life Sciences Outlook: Digitalization at scale: Delivering on the promise of science. Deloitte – Global. .

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). (2022, May 31). mRNA Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Trial Shows Promising Results. .

Meticulous Market Research. (2022, June). Real-world Data (RWD) Market. .

Research and Markets. (2022, August). Life Science Analytics Market Analysis.–description .

Research and Markets. (2022, January). Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Market. .

Reuters. (2022, Nov 3). Pfizer, BioNTech start COVID-flu combination vaccine study. .

Taylor, K. (2022). Episode #6: Real World Evidence, Life Sciences Connect. Deloitte UK. .

Truelove, C. (2022, October 11). Top pharma companies 2022: Still riding the COVID wave. .

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2021, January 12). FDA Releases Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Action Plan. .

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2022, October 5). Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML)-Enabled Medical Devices. .

Wienberg, C. & Muller, M. (2022, August 17). Monkeypox Vaccine Maker Seeks Partners in Race to Meet Demand. Bloomberg. .

World Health Organization (WHO). (2022, July 23). WHO Director-General declares the ongoing monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. .

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