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Which Life Sciences Sectors Are Booming in 2022?

25 January 2022

By Jay Freeman

Which Life Sciences Sectors Are Booming in 2022?

The life sciences market is dynamic and fast-paced, even with the continued disruption of the ongoing pandemic.

For those interested in finding their career in life sciences, it can be overwhelming trying to know where to start – which sectors are thriving, what is the market outlook for life sciences, and does specialism matter?

Find out what the 2022 market outlook is for your life sciences job search below, and which areas you should keep an eye on.

Life sciences in 2022

Whilst 2020 and 2021 were periods of survival and recovery for life sciences – in which it continued to innovate and thrive – 2022 will be the year to put many of the lessons into action.

Technology was a huge factor in the success with which life sciences adapted to the pandemic, and it will also be a significant factor in the trajectory of the industry moving through 2022.

Cloud computing has maintained collaboration as hybrid working has become commonplace, and analytics are becoming more prominent in life sciences in relation to personalised medicine.

Additionally, there has also been greater emphasis on the ways of working in life sciences, which has put a spotlight on the importance of employee wellbeing in order to achieve the best outcomes.

Overall, life sciences is continuing to be a technology-driven, fast-paced environment that continues to grow and evolve to meet demand – Venture Capital Funding (VCF) hit record highs in 2021, with European life science companies attracting €21bn in the last five years, with a higher allocation of capital targeting mainland European marketplaces (Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands).

Biotechnology

Biotech is continually breaking records and remaining integral to the innovation of life sciences.

European biotech investment hit €9bn in 2021, which is a drastic increase from the €4.5bn total of 2020 – and biotech is only expected to continue breaking investment records.

Given the essential role that biotech has played in the pandemic response, high investment is expected due to biotech being a capital-intensive industry.

For those looking for a career in life sciences, this also makes biotech a very appealing option for a multitude of reasons, from the high job security due to high investment, to the innovative nature of biotech and its ever-evolving processes.

It’s good news for those who are tech-savvy as well, with technologies such as AI and big data analytics rising in prominence and making those with statistical and mathematical skills essential in the uptake of such technologies.

The average annual salary for a Bioinformatics Scientist in the UK is £141,000, including housing, transport, and other benefits, with the lowest average salary for a job in biotech or pharmaceuticals in the UK being £47,500 – appealing salaries and excellent employee benefits are central to how biotech businesses secure skilled talent.

Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical sector hasn’t just evolved in the field of therapeutics and vaccines, but also in the technology and science used to develop them.

Digitalisation is key to the market outlook for pharma, as emerging technologies begin to rise in popularity as a means to influence drug development research.

The successful use of mRNA vaccines in the pandemic has meant that RNA therapeutics are expected to evolve significantly in 2022, and the landscape of clinical trials will continue to be impacted by the pandemic as decentralised clinical trials become more commonplace.

What does this all mean for life sciences candidates, though?

Technology will be impacting specific areas of pharma, and as a result, the job roles related to them.

For example, a GlobalData survey revealed that:

  • Over 70% of pharma industry respondents expect drug development will be the area most impacted by smart technologies being implemented

  • 27% of respondents believe big data/analytics will play a major role in optimising marketing and sales

  • AI and big data will play a major role in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development process

This opens up major opportunities for life sciences candidates with strong statistical or technological ability – pharma is innovating due to technology advancements, and needs candidates with the skills to maintain this trajectory.

As pharma becomes more data-driven, the skills necessary to keep up with the increasing volume and complexity of the data being generated will need to keep up.

Medical device

The pandemic has put immense pressure on the medical devices sector, including supply chain disruptions and the rise of telehealth as a response to difficulties conducting in-person care.

Subsectors of medical devices such as diagnostic testing have thrived during the uncertainty of the pandemic due to strong demand for tests and assay components – given that the pandemic is expected to shift to an endemic, there is a durable market for diagnostic testing, with high demand.

Medtech has generally seen favourable growth during the pandemic due to an upward trend in digital health, with the new era of digital medical technologies being referred to as medtech 3.0.

The market size for the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare is expected to grow from $10.4bn in 2021 to $120.2bn by 2028. AI is already utilised frequently in healthcare training research, treatment, and diagnosis, which is only likely to become more widespread as the use of technology increases.

A focus on cybersecurity will also be necessary for medtech businesses to keep personal and sensitive data protected, which is an area that may see high investment in 2022.

An exciting area for candidates considering a career in medical devices is the increase in collaborations, as a response to increased scrutiny by regulators and an anticipated increase in pilot/evaluation periods.

Many businesses may opt for more complex collaborations, such as consortia, which is an exciting prospect for any candidate that is looking to be a part of a transformative period in medical devices.

Tech

Tech in life sciences has been evolving rapidly.

VR technologies have been flourishing, in particular, the potential for brands to prosper in the metaverse. Implementing educational resources is a particular area of focus for healthcare professionals.

The telehealth market is also booming, with wearables and digital therapeutics expanding the scope of online medical care – documenting the data of digital therapeutics and wearable devices will advance the market by making essential information more accessible for patient diagnosis.

As a result of increased real-world data, there will undoubtedly be new regulations and legislation in relation to how this data is stored and used, to maintain patient privacy and set industry standards.

To summarise

The life sciences market is, by all accounts, thriving as we move into 2022.

Biotech, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices are all sectors of life sciences that have not just been truly resilient through 2021 but have thrived – the opportunities for candidates in relation to digitalisation, collaboration, and innovation are numerous.

Skills around big data and emerging technologies such as AI are undoubtedly going to be in high demand as businesses look to move from recovery towards expansion, which is reliant on life sciences candidates.

Let us help you begin an exciting career in life sciences today by getting in touch with the Panda team. 


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