US R&D trends show a continued growth in R&D spend and activity. Emerging biopharma companies count for an increasing share of late-stage pipeline activity relative to big pharma companies' numbers, according to the IQVIA report referred to by Fierce Biotech in its publication on the subject.
Although the report also mentions emerging biopharma companies' diminishing need for partnerships or acquisitions, this may in my view not necessarily be the case. The shift in the relative size of R&D activity between emerging biopharma companies and big pharma companies may also be seen as a more efficient allocation of R&D funds, which still to a very large extent are sourced from big pharma companies' budgets.
Further, it is not always that simple to identify the sources of R&D funds because big pharma companies increasingly deploy their R&D budgets in many different ways. For example, apart from engaging in partnerships, Big pharma R&D funds also find their way through investments in healthcare investment firms or through their own investment funds. As long as R&D funds are sourced from big pharma companies (or any other investor, for that matter), partnerships and acquisitions will exist. The type and terms of partnerships may become much more diverse, however.