Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Forecast and Growth 2031

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Size and Forecast (2021 - 2031), Global and Regional Share, Trend, and Growth Opportunity Analysis Report Coverage: By Therapeutic Area (Oncology, Central Nervous System, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Orthopedics, Immunology, Rare Diseases, Other Therapeutic Areas); Process/Phase (Target Discovery, Target Validation, Lead Generation and Refinement, and Preclinical Development), and Geography

  • Report Code : TIPRE00004774
  • Category : Pharmaceuticals
  • No. of Pages : 150
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Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Dynamics - 2021 to 2031

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The small molecule drug discovery market was valued at US$ 34.22 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 81.71 billion by 2031. The market is expected to register a CAGR of 13.2% in 2023–2031. The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in drug discovery will likely remain a key small molecule drug discovery market trend.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Analysis

Small molecules drugs are used in targeted drug delivery in which small molecules pass through the cell membrane and act on the specific cellular organelle or protein. The small molecules drugs can enter cells easily because of its low molecular weight. These molecules are better than monoclonal antibodies and other large-molecule drugs due to their size, easy convertibility to oral form, and cost-effectivity. The discovery of novel small molecule entities capable of specific interactions represents a significant challenge in the early stages of drug discovery. When the biological target is well-defined and understood, the rational design of small molecule ligands is possible. In recent years, small molecules have witnessed significant attention in biologics, as there is an increasing demand for these drugs.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Overview

Increasing R&D by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in discovering novel drugs, growing investments in pharmaceuticals, and the prevalence of cancer are among the few factors projected to accelerate the growth of the small molecule drug discovery market.

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Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market: Strategic Insights

Market Size Value inUS$ 24,976.14 Million in 2019
Market Size Value byUS$ 50,823.06 Million by 2027
Growth rateCAGR of 9.5% from 2020-2027
Forecast Period2020-2027
Base Year2020
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Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Drivers and Opportunities

Growing Demand for R&D from Contract Organizations

In the last few years, the pharmaceuticals industry has witnessed rapid growth in outsourcing services, driven by many factors such as the growth of small molecules, the increase in API complexities, and the growing need to reduce development costs. Large pharmaceutical companies are outsourcing R&D activities to increase the speed of the drug development process and reduce their development and manufacturing costs. Many pharmaceutical firms rely on CROs to minimize the high fixed costs of in-house development, manufacturing capabilities, and expertise. Increasing complexity in developing new molecular entities (NMEs) has created a need for niche capabilities that pharmaceutical companies prefer to outsource rather than in-house.

Increasing Small Molecule-Based– An Opportunity in Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market

The pharmaceutical industry is continually evolving. There is always a need for new, innovative therapeutic approaches in the treatment of various chronic indications. Small molecule-based drug approvals have increased in the past five years due to their effectiveness against various indications. Small molecule-based drug candidates-based pipelines are growing for a wide range of therapeutic applications, including oncology, hypertension, diabetes, and inflammatory disorders. Many big and small pharmaceutical companies are engaged in the development of several small-molecule drugs.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Report Segmentation Analysis

Key segments that contributed to the derivation of the small molecule drug discovery market analysis are disorder and service providers.

  • Based on therapeutic area, the small molecule drug discovery market is segmented into oncology, central nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory, orthopedics, immunology, rare diseases, other therapeutic areas. The oncology segment held a larger market share in 2023.
  • By process/phase, the small molecule drug discovery market is segmented into target discovery, target validation, lead generation and refinement, preclinical development. The lead generation and refinement segment held the largest share of the market in 2023.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Share Analysis by Geography

The geographic scope of the small molecule drug discovery market report is mainly divided into five regions: North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and South America/South & Central America.

The US holds a significant share of the small molecule drug discovery market in North America. The growth of the market in the country is primarily driven by the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer and the adoption of novel drugs and therapies to improve the quality of treatment. For instance, per the statistics provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2019 1,762,450 new cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths were estimated.

The US health system is witnessing massive investments in research and developments for the innovation of new drug molecules, which would, in turn, drive the growth of the small molecule drug discovery market in the US during the forecast period. Besides, massive investment in the US, the strong pipeline, and Therapeutic Area approvals for the small molecule drug discovery are expected to drive the US market. For instance, Pfizer, Inc., headquartered in the US, has a strong pipeline for small molecule drugs and biologics.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Report Scope

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market News and Recent Developments

The small molecule drug discovery market is evaluated by gathering qualitative and quantitative data post primary and secondary research, which includes important corporate publications, association data, and databases. The following is a list of developments in the market for small molecule drug discovery:

  • BioDuro-Sundia and X-Chem, a pioneer in DEL technology in small molecule drug development, offered DNA Encoded Compound Library (DEL) technology services in China to assist more creative pharmaceutical businesses in finding small molecule medications more swiftly. (Source: BioDuro-Sundia, Press Release, 2022).
  • RxCelerate launched RxNfinit. It is a revolutionary platform for small molecule discovery that offers considerable improvements over the current generation of tools to identify small molecule therapeutics against various protein targets. The platform combines machine learning, in silico structural modeling, and combinatorial chemistry in a novel process.(Source: RxCelerate, Press Release, 2022).

Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Report Coverage and Deliverables

The “Small Molecule Drug Discovery Market Size and Forecast (2021–2031)” report provides a detailed analysis of the market covering below areas:

  • Market size and forecast at global, regional, and country levels for all the key market segments covered under the scope
  • Market dynamics such as drivers, restraints, and key opportunities
  • Key future trends
  • Detailed PEST/Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT analysis
  • Global and regional market analysis covering key market trends, major players, regulations, and recent market developments
  • Industry landscape and competition analysis covering market concentration, heat map analysis, prominent players, and recent developments
  • Detailed company profiles
Report Coverage
Report Coverage

Revenue forecast, Company Analysis, Industry landscape, Growth factors, and Trends

Segment Covered
Segment Covered

Therapeutic Area ; Process/Phase ; and Geography

Regional Scope
Regional Scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, South & Central America

Country Scope
Country Scope

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

The Insight Partners performs research in 4 major stages: Data Collection & Secondary Research, Primary Research, Data Analysis and Data Triangulation & Final Review.

  1. Data Collection and Secondary Research:

As a market research and consulting firm operating from a decade, we have published many reports and advised several clients across the globe. First step for any study will start with an assessment of currently available data and insights from existing reports. Further, historical and current market information is collected from Investor Presentations, Annual Reports, SEC Filings, etc., and other information related to company’s performance and market positioning are gathered from Paid Databases (Factiva, Hoovers, and Reuters) and various other publications available in public domain.

Several associations trade associates, technical forums, institutes, societies and organizations are accessed to gain technical as well as market related insights through their publications such as research papers, blogs and press releases related to the studies are referred to get cues about the market. Further, white papers, journals, magazines, and other news articles published in the last 3 years are scrutinized and analyzed to understand the current market trends.

  1. Primary Research:

The primarily interview analysis comprise of data obtained from industry participants interview and answers to survey questions gathered by in-house primary team.

For primary research, interviews are conducted with industry experts/CEOs/Marketing Managers/Sales Managers/VPs/Subject Matter Experts from both demand and supply side to get a 360-degree view of the market. The primary team conducts several interviews based on the complexity of the markets to understand the various market trends and dynamics which makes research more credible and precise.

A typical research interview fulfils the following functions:

  • Provides first-hand information on the market size, market trends, growth trends, competitive landscape, and outlook
  • Validates and strengthens in-house secondary research findings
  • Develops the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding

Primary research involves email interactions and telephone interviews for each market, category, segment, and sub-segment across geographies. The participants who typically take part in such a process include, but are not limited to:

  • Industry participants: VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers and national sales managers
  • Outside experts: Valuation experts, research analysts and key opinion leaders specializing in the electronics and semiconductor industry.

Below is the breakup of our primary respondents by company, designation, and region:

Research Methodology

Once we receive the confirmation from primary research sources or primary respondents, we finalize the base year market estimation and forecast the data as per the macroeconomic and microeconomic factors assessed during data collection.

  1. Data Analysis:

Once data is validated through both secondary as well as primary respondents, we finalize the market estimations by hypothesis formulation and factor analysis at regional and country level.

  • 3.1 Macro-Economic Factor Analysis:

We analyse macroeconomic indicators such the gross domestic product (GDP), increase in the demand for goods and services across industries, technological advancement, regional economic growth, governmental policies, the influence of COVID-19, PEST analysis, and other aspects. This analysis aids in setting benchmarks for various nations/regions and approximating market splits. Additionally, the general trend of the aforementioned components aid in determining the market's development possibilities.

  • 3.2 Country Level Data:

Various factors that are especially aligned to the country are taken into account to determine the market size for a certain area and country, including the presence of vendors, such as headquarters and offices, the country's GDP, demand patterns, and industry growth. To comprehend the market dynamics for the nation, a number of growth variables, inhibitors, application areas, and current market trends are researched. The aforementioned elements aid in determining the country's overall market's growth potential.

  • 3.3 Company Profile:

The “Table of Contents” is formulated by listing and analyzing more than 25 - 30 companies operating in the market ecosystem across geographies. However, we profile only 10 companies as a standard practice in our syndicate reports. These 10 companies comprise leading, emerging, and regional players. Nonetheless, our analysis is not restricted to the 10 listed companies, we also analyze other companies present in the market to develop a holistic view and understand the prevailing trends. The “Company Profiles” section in the report covers key facts, business description, products & services, financial information, SWOT analysis, and key developments. The financial information presented is extracted from the annual reports and official documents of the publicly listed companies. Upon collecting the information for the sections of respective companies, we verify them via various primary sources and then compile the data in respective company profiles. The company level information helps us in deriving the base number as well as in forecasting the market size.

  • 3.4 Developing Base Number:

Aggregation of sales statistics (2020-2022) and macro-economic factor, and other secondary and primary research insights are utilized to arrive at base number and related market shares for 2022. The data gaps are identified in this step and relevant market data is analyzed, collected from paid primary interviews or databases. On finalizing the base year market size, forecasts are developed on the basis of macro-economic, industry and market growth factors and company level analysis.

  1. Data Triangulation and Final Review:

The market findings and base year market size calculations are validated from supply as well as demand side. Demand side validations are based on macro-economic factor analysis and benchmarks for respective regions and countries. In case of supply side validations, revenues of major companies are estimated (in case not available) based on industry benchmark, approximate number of employees, product portfolio, and primary interviews revenues are gathered. Further revenue from target product/service segment is assessed to avoid overshooting of market statistics. In case of heavy deviations between supply and demand side values, all thes steps are repeated to achieve synchronization.

We follow an iterative model, wherein we share our research findings with Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) until consensus view of the market is not formulated – this model negates any drastic deviation in the opinions of experts. Only validated and universally acceptable research findings are quoted in our reports.

We have important check points that we use to validate our research findings – which we call – data triangulation, where we validate the information, we generate from secondary sources with primary interviews and then we re-validate with our internal data bases and Subject matter experts. This comprehensive model enables us to deliver high quality, reliable data in shortest possible time.

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