Updated on 7 March 2013
GlobalData - Research expenditure rises as firms swiftly push drug candidates through clinical trials
Singapore: A new report by research and consulting firm GlobalData has revealed that biotech firms are eager to push drug candidates through clinical trials and this has prompted an overall increase in R&D expenditure of 20 percent in just a year. The new report, which compares the competitive position of 15 innovative mid-cap biotech companies on 20 financial metrics, states that the peer group R&D spend for Q3 2012 reached $746.8 million, climbing from $621.1 million in Q3 2011.
Mr Adam Dion, analyst, healthcare industry dynamics, GlobalData, said that, "Oncology is the main focus of biotech R&D activities, which is driving peer group R&D expenses higher. Biotech companies are becoming increasingly more successful at developing innovative therapies. However, our research has found that the high cost of bringing these therapies to market continues to erode corporate profitability."
Regeneron was the firm with the highest R&D expenditure for Q3 2012, with an outlay of $158 million. According to the report, Regeneron's R&D spend has increased steadily each quarter since Q3 2011, when the total stood at $128 million.
In terms of percentages, ViroPharma displayed the biggest year-to-year drop in R&D expenditure. The company's R&D spending plummeted 28 percent year-to-year, from $22.9 million in Q3 2011 to $16.5 million in Q3 2012.The decrease in ViroPharma's R&D spend was caused by the US FDA's suspension of the company's clinical trials of its flagship product Cinryze due to safety concerns.
"The FDA put a hold on two of the company's phase II clinical studies when trials revealed elevated antibody levels detected in the treatment arm of the study. These concerns have since been addressed and, with FDA approval, the firm resumed the trials in September of last year," said Mr Dion.