GUEST: What’s on the horizon for life sciences and health care?

The Covid-19 pandemic remains a dominant theme in our forward-looking view for companies in the life sciences and health care industry, as the past year has continued to create challenges and a seemingly endless stream of lockdowns and viral surges. While uncertainties abound, we remain hopeful that the innovations necessitated by our collective pivot to pandemic life will become a part of our new normal.

The worldwide vaccine rollout enabled the gradual easing of Covid-19 mandates, but with a watchful eye on the evolution of new variants. The pandemic continued to drive the development and adoption of new technologies and innovations resulting in massive investments into artificial intelligence, virtual health solutions, telehealth products, and related cybersecurity measures. It also spurred increased scrutiny by regulatory authorities over supply chain reliability. Our global Life Sciences and Health Care team – comprised of more than 500 lawyers around the world who support more than 1,000 clients in the industry, expect to see continued activity in this area with the enactment of new diligence obligations, return to in-person inspections, and overall manufacturing accountability. Precision medicines continue to provide opportunities within evolving regulatory frameworks that are as complex as their innovative technologies. Moreover, advanced analytics are enabling the incorporation of data collected outside of a traditional clinical setting and regulators are taking note. The need for rapid response and working with regulators to expedite development and review processes will continue to be crucial for the life sciences and health care industry for many years to come.

In the transactional space, we also see increasing complexity, as partners develop innovative terms and payment structures to account for long development timelines and allocation of manufacturing risk for bespoke therapies. While investors may continue to take a cautious approach towards IPOs, indications point to a robust M&A and partnering market in 2022 as many large companies have amassed significant amounts of cash. We believe that innovators having strong data and sound fundamentals will continue to attract investments. We also continue to advise clients on innovative alliances between government, industry, and academia. Conversely, we also see an increase in arbitration, particularly involving cross-border contractual disputes.

In addition to the seismic shifts stemming from coronavirus, life sciences and health care companies are affected by specific issues in each geographic region. Our team stands at the ready to provide you with creative strategies for your most promising opportunities and integrated solutions that protect and support your business when issues arise. The UK is developing new legislation in areas such as medical device regulation, balancing increased flexibility post-Brexit with aligning closely with EU and other major international regulatory systems. In the EU, our life sciences and health care clients are also navigating changing legislation with the introduction of new regulations on clinical trials and medical devices, and proposals for new legislation on AI. Companies are also watching the coming implementation of the Unitary Patent Court and its impact on existing systems in Member States.

Click here to view the 2022 Life Sciences and Health Care Horizons publication from Hogan Lovells -identifying key evolving trends for health care companies in Europe.

 

June 30, 2022

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