Drug Discovery Technologies

Published - Nov 2007| Analyst - Valarie Natale| Code - BIO020C
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for drug discovery technologies increased from $20.2 billion in 2006 to an estimated $22 billion in 2007. It should reach $32.5 billion by 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2%.
  • High throughput screening has the largest share of the market, worth an estimated $8.5 billion in 2007, and is expected to reach $12 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 7.1% over the forecast period.
  • While informatics has the smallest share of the market, worth $725 million in 2007, the segment will see the largest CAGR of 15.7%, as its value rises to $1.5 billion by 2012.


This study examines trends in drug discovery. Drug discovery is an enormous field, and this report focuses on a selection of the major workhorse technologies, including liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, as well as on newer approaches, such as systems biology, high content screening, and bioinformatics.

Trends in financing and business approaches are examined, as are strategies for commercializing new products. The report also makes predictions about technologies and approaches and how they are likely to perform in the next 5 years.


This report contains:


  • Descriptions of various drug discovery-related products including bioanalytical instruments, high throughput screening, informatics and microarrays
  • The current market status of drug discovery technologies, trends and forecasts for growth over the next 5 years
  • Discussion of new methods of research important to the market including compound discovery, compound optimization, efficacy testing in vitro and in vivo, toxicology testing, pharmacokinetics, and stability testing
  • An analysis of patents and their importance to the industry.



The material for this report was gathered from interviews with individuals in the industry, as well as a thorough review of technology gathered from secondary sources. These sources include company annual, 10K and 10Q reports, company literature, trade literature, trade associations, and online sources. Note that the author of this report is herself involved in the development of a compound for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Projections were based on current and historical levels of funding and revenues, potential end users, likely unit prices, and rates of consumption. Final projections are based on the analysis of information from primary and secondary sources. All dollar projections are presented in year 2007 constant dollars.


Valerie Natale has an M.Sc. in microbiology from the University of Dublin and a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Bern. She has considerable experience in biotechnology, both as a research scientist and as the president of a small startup company investigating treatments for neurological disorders. She has written a number of other BCC reports on this industry.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Jul-2001| Analyst - Valarie Natale| Code - BIO020B

Report Highlights


  • New methods for drug discovery and delivery are receiving considerable attention in the pharmaceutical industry and in the media. Trial-and-error discovery methods have been replaced by focused combinatorial synthesis, high throughput systems, and other advanced systems. These new methods have produced agents that have entered clinical trials. As a result of the new technologies, costs and development times are falling, and knowledge about each new agent's mode of action has increased.
  • This updated BCC study examines how the new drug discovery technologies have affected costs and drug development times. It also analyzes how new screening technologies, DNA microarrays, and increasingly sophisticated instruments will affect pharmaceutical discovery. An important section of the report analyzes market sizes and market growth for each technology. The report also includes interviews with executives in the instruments industry and the combinatorial chemistry industry.
  • Molecular biology has given scientists detailed knowledge about basic and complex biological processes. One result of this new knowledge has been an explosion in the development of sophisticated pharmaceutical agents. For example, the number of drug candidates that have been screened in the last ten years has increased by three orders of magnitude: in 1990, approximately 500,000 drug compounds were screened; for the year 2000, that number is estimated at 1.5 billion.


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