Drug discovery is referred to as the process of identifying and developing a compound that has pharmacological activity and is useful in treating disease. Drug discovery is a complex and lengthy procedure that proceeds through various stages in order to produce a product that is efficacious, safe, and holds regulatory compliance. Drug discovery is a costly procedure. According to a study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development that was conducted in 2014, the cost of developing a new drug, from research and development to approval for marketing, is approximately US$ 2.9 Bn. The process of drug discovery and informatics has been changing, with the adoption of various computational methods assisting in the design of novel drug candidates rapidly and at lower costs.

Major pharmaceutical companies performing drug discovery and informatics processes are shifting their focus on gaining a foothold in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, and Mexico in order to expand their business operations and explore new markets. Emerging nations in Asia Pacific are conducting early-stage research programs, primarily aimed at specific medical needs of patients in the region. This is likely to fuel the growth of the global drug discovery services market. Moreover, a shift in preference of pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies toward outsourcing of drug discoveries and clinical and preclinical trials in order to focus on their core businesses is likely to boost the drug discovery services market. However, there is a significant shortage of skilled staff in the drug discovery services industry. This shortage affects pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies and contract research organizations. There are very few institutions and organizations all over the world that offer training in drug discovery and informatics services. Therefore, availability of trained professionals is also low. These factors are likely to hamper the drug discovery services market in the near future.

The drug discovery services market can be segmented based on drug, service, process, therapeutic area, and geography. Based on drug, the global drug discovery services market can be classified into small molecules and biologics. In terms of service, the global drug discovery services market can be categorized into medicinal chemistry, biology services, and informatics services. Based on process, the global drug discovery services market can be divided into target selection, lead identification, lead optimization, and others. In terms of therapeutic area, the global drug discovery services market can be segmented into oncology, neurology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and others. 

Based on geography, the global drug discovery services market can be classified into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are expected to continue to dominate the drug discovery services market due to advanced health care infrastructure. Traditional drug development and testing and greater scrutiny of the approval process are present significant problems, both for the drug industry and for patients who are desperately waiting for new drugs to treat their illnesses. This factor is attributed to the adaptability of the new and advanced development informatics. It is estimated to drive the development informatics segment from 2018 to 2026. Asia Pacific is a lucrative region of the market. The drug discovery services market in the region is anticipated to expand at a rapid growth rate during the forecast period. An increase in government initiatives is projected to boost the market share of Asia Pacific. A large population base and rise in the incidence of infectious diseases are attributed to the increased demand for drug discovery informatics in countries such as India, China Japan, Singapore, and others. They are projected to offer significant opportunities to the drug discovery services market in the coming years.

Key players operating in the global drug discovery services market include Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC., Charles River Laboratories International, Evotec, Albany Molecular Research Inc., GE Healthcare, Advinus Therapeutics, and Piramal Enterprises.

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