How Are Emerging Markets Innovating? Evidence From The Global Bio-Pharmaceutical Industry

Felipe Monteiro, INSEAD, and Thomas Klueter, IESE Business School

Abstract: Emerging markets firms in high-technology industries have long been thought of as laggards. We argue that this paradigm needs to be reassessed. Using biotechnology as an example for a radical technology we argue that emerging markets, compared to developed markets, are well positioned to pursue such technologies as emerging markets (1) have low path dependencies in traditional chemistry based therapies and choose to leapfrog older technologies, and, (2) have strong incentives to invest in imitative abilities for the radical technology. We examine drug development initiatives by both developed and emerging markets in 2000/2001 and 2010/2011. We find that emerging markets have become responsible for a substantial portion of new drug developme nt initiatives worldwide. More importantly, emerging markets, much more than developed markets, have emphasized biotechnology for both imitative and innovative new therapies.