The global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2024, driven by an aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. As drug developers seek to capitalize on this growing market, many are turning to two key regions, Europe and Asia Pacific, to expedite their clinical trials and bring new treatments to market more quickly and efficiently. There are many advantages to including these two regions in new clinical trial processes including faster recruitment times, streamline regulatory processes, access to diverse populations, and ultimately cost savings. 

Faster Recruitment Times

One of the primary advantages of including Europe and APAC in clinical trials is faster recruitment times. These regions often have larger patient populations, making it easier for drug developers to find suitable candidates for their clinical trials. For example, the European Union has a population of over 500 million people, and the APAC region has a population of over 4.5 billion people. This means that drug developers can potentially recruit patients more quickly and efficiently, helping to expedite the clinical trial process.

Additionally, the regulatory environment in Europe and APAC supports clinical trial recruitment around advertising and patient outreach. In Europe, for example, the Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) aims to streamline the clinical trial approval process and make it easier for drug developers to conduct clinical trials across multiple EU member states. Similarly, many countries in the APAC region have implemented regulatory reforms to facilitate clinical trial recruitment, such as simplifying the ethics approval process and allowing online patient recruitment.

Access to Diverse Patient Populations

Another key benefit of including Europe and APAC in clinical trials is access to diverse patient populations. These regions are home to a broad range of ethnic and genetic backgrounds, enabling drug developers to better understand how their drugs may perform across different populations. This is particularly important for drugs that may have different effects in patients with different genetic backgrounds, such as cancer treatments.

For example, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in China, and lung cancer rates are increasing in other parts of the APAC region as well. As a result, drug developers conducting clinical trials in the region have access to a large pool of lung cancer patients from diverse genetic backgrounds. By including Europe and APAC in clinical trials, drug developers can gather more comprehensive data on their drugs and improve their understanding of how they may perform in different populations.

Favourable market incentives

Including Europe and APAC in clinical trials can offer regulatory incentives that can help to expedite drug development. In Europe, for example, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) offers a range of incentives to drug developers that choose to conduct clinical trials in the region. These incentives include accelerated assessment of drug applications, reduced fees for scientific advice, and access to a dedicated scientific hotline for questions and guidance. Similarly, many countries in the APAC region offer regulatory incentives to drug developers, such as fast-track approval pathways for innovative drugs.

For example, Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) offers a Priority Review pathway for drugs that address unmet medical needs or are considered a breakthrough therapy. Under this pathway, the HSA will review and approve the drug application within six months, compared to the standard review time of 9-12 months. Similarly, Japan's Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) offers an expedited review pathway for innovative drugs that have received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the EMA. By taking advantage of these incentives, drug developers can potentially shorten the clinical trial process.

Cost Savings

Including Europe and APAC in clinical trials can also offer cost savings for drug developers. These regions often have lower costs of conducting clinical trials, particularly when it comes to patient recruitment and site fees. Specialist research teams The cost of labor is also cheaper in some countries in these regions, leading to cost savings in clinical trial operations. In addition, some countries offer tax incentives and grants to encourage clinical trial investments. By leveraging these cost-saving opportunities, pharmaceutical companies can allocate their budgets more efficiently and ultimately accelerate the drug development process.

Europe and Asia Pacific presenta storng benefit in clinical trials to expedite the drug development process. These regions provide a wealth of advantages, such as access to diverse patient populations, lower costs, and simplified regulatory frameworks. By expanding clinical trials to Europe and Asia Pacific, researchers can gather more robust data, shorten trial timelines, and ultimately bring new treatments to market faster. Moreover, globalizing clinical trials can help address healthcare disparities by ensuring that treatments are effective across different populations.