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Andrii Buvailo

Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief

Andrii Buvailo is a pharmaceutical industry analyst and writer, focusing on emerging companies (startups), technologies and trends in drug discovery, as well as R&D outsourcing. His articles were published on Forbes.com, and market research reports were referenced by some of the leading life science organizations.

Andrii is a Director of Ecommerce at Enamine Ltd -- a global supplier of fine chemicals and contract research services for the pharmaceutical industry. In this role he is involved in IT-management (ecommerce applications and systems), sales management and marketing activities, related to supporting drug discovery organizations across the globe with innovative chemicals and research services. Apart from his role at Enamine, he oversees BiopharmaTrend.com, and industry analytics consultancy.

He received a master's degree in Inorganic Chemistry and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University. He spent a year at Prof. Eric Borguet Group at Temple University Department of Chemistry developing gas sensor and biosensor systems, He also participated in numerous scientific projects in Ukraine, Belgium, and Germany (DAAD, Horizon 2020, NATO, CRDF grants), and published in high-impact research journals. Andrii has hands-on experience in structural and coordination chemistry, surface science, physical chemistry, nanomaterials and gas sensors, as well as bioinorganic chemistry. He received extensive theoretical training in molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, and computer-aided drug discovery.

   

Selected posts from Editor

19 Online Marketplaces Facilitating Life Science Research

(Last updated: 23.08.2018)

Online marketplaces are websites with a “many-to-many” business logic. They can host multiple suppliers trading with multiple buyers via different e-commerce tools available as a part of a website functionality.

Why are online marketplaces great?

Online marketplaces can provide a substantial added value to its users. For example, buyers can quickly compare and select better offerings without the need to research multiple websites and surf online for price comparisons or product specifications. Additionally, marketplaces bring more transparency, trust, and standardization to the whole process of sourcing.

Top AI in Pharma and Healthcare Conferences in 2020 You Can’t Miss

Artificial intelligence (machine learning and deep learning, to be more specific) has become widely discussed topics in the area of life sciences and healthcare over the last several years and the excitement keeps growing. While a lot of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations express considerable interest in possible new opportunities, associated with the use of artificial intelligence for early drug discovery, clinical trial optimization, and business intelligence, a considerable gap still exists when it comes to understanding new technologies by pharmaceutical professionals and leaders. The key questions here are these:

  • What machine learning / AI can and can’t do for the pharmaceutical industry

  • What should be done to harness practical and measurable value out of machine learning / AI?

  • How it should be done and what are the timelines for getting returns on investments? 

Current State of AI in Pharma: Key Achievements Beyond Hype

/Last update -- 24 Dec 2019/

A background context -- opportunities and challenges

Current widespread interest towards artificial intelligence (AI) and its numerous research and commercial successes was largely catalyzed by several landmark breakthroughs in 2012, when researchers at the University of Toronto achieved unprecedented improvement in the image classification challenge ImageNet, using their deep neural network “AlexNet” running on graphics processing units (GPUs), and when that same year Google’s deep neural network managed to identify a cat from millions of unlabeled Youtube videos, representing a conceptual step in unsupervised machine learning.

The Evolution Of Pharmaceutical R&D Model

There is a plethora of analytics reports, including ones by Deloitte, DKV Global, and Ernst and Young, all pointing out to a declining business performance of the pharmaceutical industry. They all convey a similar bottomline message: the decline is not due to a lack of innovation (the innovations are growing). And not because sales are falling or markets are shrinking (revenues are growing in general, and the markets are expanding with the expanding and ageing population). The key reason of the declining financial performance is the fact that research and development (R&D) costs are growing substantially faster over an average investment period, than the actual revenues over the same period. This kills operational profits, leading to a decline in the overall business gain. A direct consequence of that -- an increasingly stagnating industry, cutting sometimes promising R&D programs, jobs etc.  

There are two more relevant questions here: 

1) why R&D costs are growing faster than revenues, considering that technological progress is seemingly providing more and more optimal and powerful technologies to pharma companies at a constantly decreasing specific price (e.g. costs of computation, sequencing, screening and many other things are falling), and 

2) what to do about it to reverse the decline in pharma industry performance? 

Pharma R&D Outsourcing Is On The Rise

(Updated: 14.08.2018)

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly outsourcing research activities to academic and private contract research organizations (CROs) as a strategy to stay competitive and flexible in a world of exponentially growing knowledge, increasingly sophisticated technologies and an unstable economic environment.  

The R&D tasks that firms choose to outsource include a wide spectrum of activities from basic research to late-stage development: genetic engineering, target validation, assay development, hit exploration and lead optimization (hit candidates-as-a-service), safety and efficacy tests in animal models, and clinical trials involving humans.

According to a recent analytical report by Visiongain, drug discovery outsourcing will continue to grow over the next decade and will rise to a $43.7 billion dollar industry by 2026, as compared to an estimated 19.2 billion in 2016 (or $21.2 billion according to Kalorama Information). This is in line with Vantage’s fresh alliance benchmarking study, revealing that over 80% of bio-pharma respondents report increased alliance activity compared to five years ago. Getting ideas and expertise from external sources is a well-established practice in the pharmaceutical industry with about one-third of all drugs in the pipelines of the top ten pharmaceutical companies initially developed elsewhere, according to a 2014 WSJ article by Jonathan D. Rockoff.  

How Big Pharma Adopts AI To Boost Drug Discovery

(Last updated 08.10.2018)

The type of artificial intelligence (AI) which scares some of the greatest minds, like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, is called “general artificial intelligence” -- the one which can “think” pretty much like humans do, and which can quickly evolve into a dangerous “superintelligence”. There is a notion that it might be invented in the nearest decades, but today we are definitely not there yet. The AI which is making headlines these days is a “narrow artificial intelligence”, a limited type of machine “intelligence” able to solve only a specific task or a group of tasks. It can’t go anywhere beyond specifics of the problem for which it is designed, so apparently, it will not hurt anyone in the nearest time. But already now it can provide meaningful practical results on those narrow tasks, like natural language processing, image recognition, controlling self-driving cars, and helping develop new drugs more efficiently. With the ability to find hidden and unintuitive patterns in vast amounts of data in ways that no human can do, AI represents a considerable promise to transform many industries, including pharma and biotech.  

Top 7 Trends In Pharmaceutical Research In 2018

Being under ever-increasing pressure to compete in a challenging economic and technological environment, pharmaceutical and biotech companies must continually innovate in their R&D programmes to stay ahead of the game.

External innovations come in different forms and originate in different places -- from university labs, to privately held venture capital-backed startups and contract research organizations (CROs). Let’s get to reviewing some of the most influential research trends which will be “hot” in 2018 and beyond, and summarize some of the key players driving innovations.

2018: AI Is Surging In Drug Discovery Market

Updated: 10.01.2019. Newly added content is marked in the text with "Update" sign.

The idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate drug discovery process and boost a success rate of pharmaceutical research programs has inspired a surge of activity in this area over the last several years. In 2018, things are getting even “hotter” with the increase in the amount of partnerships, investments and other important events, summarized and grouped below into “mini-trends”.

Will Biologics Surpass Small Molecules In The Pharma Race?

The first biologics drug, humanized insulin (5.8 kDa), became available in 1982 following the advent of biotechnology, and it marked a new era in pharmaceutical industry. Modern advances in biotechnology permit large-scale syntheses of biologics in a more or less cost-effective manner. Having once started with large peptides and recombinant proteins, biologics nowadays include a wide range of other entities, such as antibodies, monoclonal antibodies, and more recently, nanobodies and related objects, soluble receptors, recombinant DNA, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), fusion proteins, immunotherapeutics, and synthetic vaccines.